Researchers identified a protein useful in predicting the risk of pulmonary metastases in breast cancer patients

Researchers from the Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBELL) have shown that breast cancer cells that metastasize to the lung express a higher level of the protein peroxiredoxin 2 (PRDX2). The study suggests that the modulation of the levels of this protein could be a new therapeutic strategy to prevent lung metastases. The study results have been advanced in the online edition of the journal Oncogene.

PRDX2 is an oxidation-reduction enzyme that protects cells against and hence from oxidative stress. This is necessary in living in an environment with plenty of oxygen. In , overexpression of PRDX2 also protects against oxidative stress and promotes growth and proliferation in the lungs, i.e. metastasis.

New therapeutic and preventive approach

The team coordinated by the researcher of the Biological clues of the invasive and metastatic phenotype group at IDIBELL, Àngels Sierra, conducted several experiments in cell lines and in mice animal models which show that low levels of PRDX2's expression in tumour cells are sufficient to stop metastatic process in the lung.

"These findings," said Sierra, "suggest that modifying the expression of PRDX2 could lead to a new therapeutic approach to prevent lung metastases, as there are drugs already being tested in other diseases, capable of inhibiting the protein".

For Sierra, the next step "is to validate a sufficient number of patients with high expression of this protein as a risk biomarker of lung metastases in . So, these patients could receive adjuvant therapy to chemotherapy to prevent lung metastases."

This study has been also developed by researchers from the INSERM of Lyon, the Biomedical Research Institute of Lleida, the University of Barcelona and the Institute of Photonic Sciences (ICFO).

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

BRG1 mutations confer resistance to hormones in lung cancer

Mar 15, 2012

Retinoic acid (vitamin A) and steroids are hormones found in our body that protect against oxidative stress, reduce inflammation and are involved in cellular differentiation processes. One of the characteristics of tumours ...

Potent metastasis inhibitor identified

Jun 22, 2009

Researchers at Children's Hospital Boston have isolated a potent inhibitor of tumor metastasis made by tumor cells, one that could potentially be harnessed as a cancer treatment. Their findings were published in the online ...

Researchers discover how breast cancer spreads to lung

Nov 16, 2011

The spread of breast cancer is responsible for more than 90 percent of breast cancer deaths. Now, the process by which it spreads -- or metastasizes -- has been unraveled by researchers at Johns Hopkins.

Recommended for you

Putting the brakes on cancer

Dec 19, 2014

A study led by the University of Dundee, in collaboration with researchers at our University, has uncovered an important role played by a tumour suppressor gene, helping scientists to better understand how ...

Peanut component linked to cancer spread

Dec 19, 2014

Scientists at the University of Liverpool have found that a component of peanuts could encourage the spread and survival of cancer cells in the body.

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.