New method to study secondary breast cancer metastasis

December 10, 2013, King's College London
New method to study secondary breast cancer metastasis

Research led by scientists at King's College London has discovered a new way to study the mechanisms that cause breast cancer cells to spread to the bone.

Although more women than ever before are surviving , 1,000 UK women are still dying from the disease each month. The majority of these deaths are caused by the metastatic form, also known as secondary breast cancer.

Recent discoveries have shown that metastasis (the process of cancer cells leaving the breast and spreading to other parts of the body) may occur early during the development of the disease, with moving around the body before invading tissues and remaining dormant until 'awakened' later on.

An innovative method developed by Dr Gabriela Dontu at the Breakthrough Breast Cancer's Research Unit at King's College London, and published recently in the journal Cancer Research, has revealed significant progress made towards answering this question.

Professor Andrew Tutt, Unit Director explained: 'Working in collaboration with the other scientists at Kings College London, Cancer Research UK and a research team in the US, we have created a new experimental model that can be used to chart forms of tumour cell dormancy. Our model successfully recreates the conditions that cause metastatic to reside in the bone and become dormant enabling us to learn more about, and ultimately hope to prevent, the progression of .'

Dr Matthew Lam, Research Officer at Breakthrough Breast Cancer, said: 'This new method will help scientists unravel the processes that control movement of cancer cells into the bone so it can be detected early which really is the key to stopping metastasis before it takes hold.'

As part of Breakthrough Breast Cancer's new strategy, will become a main focus by working to improve patient experience of those currently living with this form of the disease, campaigning for better access to current treatments and expanding our knowledge of metastases so that we can develop better treatments in the future.

Explore further: Seven new markers discovered for hard-to-treat breast cancer

Related Stories

Seven new markers discovered for hard-to-treat breast cancer

October 25, 2013
(Medical Xpress)—Pioneering research from Breakthrough Breast Cancer scientists has discovered seven molecular markers that contribute to the behaviour of triple negative breast cancers, revealing new insight into this ...

Breast cancer prognosis associated with oncometabolite accumulation

December 9, 2013
The metabolic profile of cancer cells can be used to develop therapies and identify biomarkers associated with cancer outcome. In this issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation Stefan Ambs and colleagues at the National ...

'Critical gaps' in breast cancer research

October 3, 2013
Critical gaps in breast cancer research could see the loss of around 185,000* lives by 2030 if they are not urgently addressed, according to a major new study co-authored by researchers from King's College London.

Biomarker linked to aggressive breast cancers, poor outcomes in African-Americans

December 8, 2013
Among African-American women with breast cancer, increased levels of the protein HSET were associated with worse breast cancer outcomes, according to results presented here at the Sixth AACR Conference on the Science of Cancer ...

New clues to aggressive breast cancer

November 12, 2013
(Medical Xpress)—Queensland scientists have identified a genetic "switch" which indicates whether a woman's breast cancer will spread.

Recommended for you

How cancer metastasis happens: Researchers reveal a key mechanism

January 18, 2018
Cancer metastasis, the migration of cells from a primary tumor to form distant tumors in the body, can be triggered by a chronic leakage of DNA within tumor cells, according to a team led by Weill Cornell Medicine and Memorial ...

Modular gene enhancer promotes leukemia and regulates effectiveness of chemotherapy

January 18, 2018
Every day, billions of new blood cells are generated in the bone marrow. The gene Myc is known to play an important role in this process, and is also known to play a role in cancer. Scientists from the German Cancer Research ...

These foods may up your odds for colon cancer

January 18, 2018
(HealthDay)—Chowing down on red meat, white bread and sugar-laden drinks might increase your long-term risk of colon cancer, a new study suggests.

The pill lowers ovarian cancer risk, even for smokers

January 18, 2018
(HealthDay)—It's known that use of the birth control pill is tied to lower odds for ovarian cancer, but new research shows the benefit extends to smokers or women who are obese.

Researchers develop swallowable test to detect pre-cancerous Barrett's esophagus

January 17, 2018
Investigators at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center have developed a simple, swallowable test for early detection of Barrett's esophagus that offers promise ...

Scientists zoom in to watch DNA code being read

January 17, 2018
Scientists have unveiled incredible images of how the DNA code is read and interpreted—revealing new detail about one of the fundamental processes of life.

0 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.