Tags: Cancer | harvard | breast | cancer | gene | seed

Harvard Breakthrough Gives New Hope in Fight Against Breast Cancer

By    |   Friday, 11 July 2014 01:01 PM

For breast cancer patients, a new stem cell advance may open the door to an era of personalized medicine, based on a woman’s unique biological makeup.
 
Harvard Medical School researchers have identified breast cancer cells circulating through the blood of six patients — which the investigators described as “seeds” of cancer spreading beyond the breast to other parts of the body, such as vital organs and bones.
 
The research, conducted jointly with University of South California scientists and published in the journal Science, could pave the way for a new technique to allow doctors to use cancer cells isolated from patients’ blood to monitor the progression of cancer, pre-test drugs, and personalize treatment plans.

“Metastasis is the leading cause of cancer-related death,” said USC researcher Min Yu, assistant professor in the Department of Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC. “By understanding the unique biology of each individual patient’s cancer, we can develop targeted drug therapies to slow or even stop their diseases in their tracks.”
 
For the study, researchers found used the technique to identify genetic defects in the six patients studied. They then tested the effectiveness of several anticancer drugs that target tumor cells with these gene mutations and identified which ones merit further study.
 
In particular, the drug Ganetspib — also known as STA-9090 — appeared to be effective in killing tumor cells with the cancer-linked gene mutations.
 
The study was funded, in part, by the Breast Cancer Research Foundation and the National Institutes of Health.

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A new stem cell advance may open the door to an era of personalized medicine for breast cancer patients. Harvard researchers have identified breast cancer cells circulating through the blood of patients that could be used to track the disease.
harvard, breast, cancer, gene, seed
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2014-01-11
Friday, 11 July 2014 01:01 PM
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