Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Genotyping & Gene Expression
Scientific Community
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

Your Immune System: On Surveillance in the War Against Cancer

Published: Monday, May 13, 2013
Last Updated: Monday, May 13, 2013
Bookmark and Share
Wake Forest Baptist Research looks at gene expression profiling in breast cancer.

Predicting outcomes for cancer patients based on tumor-immune system interactions is an emerging clinical approach, and new research from Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center is advancing the field when it comes to the most deadly types of breast cancer.

"We know that one function of our immune system is to detect and destroy pre-malignant cells before they can become cancer," said lead author Lance D. Miller, Ph.D., associate professor of cancer biology at Wake Forest Baptist. "However, sometimes the immune system becomes unresponsive to the presence of these cells and a tumor develops."

This unresponsiveness can be temporary, and the immune system can remain alerted to the fact that there's a problem. Immune cells can stand post along the borders of the tumor and even infiltrate the tumor core, where they may gain a better position for eventual attack. "We now have technologies that allow us to quantify aspects of this interaction and from that information we can make predictions about cancer outcomes, Miller said."

The study published online ahead of print last month in the journal Genome Biology.

This approach is known as gene expression profiling, and by studying the expression profiles of 2,000 human breast tumors, Miller and his team identified several immune gene signatures that reflect the abundance and anti-tumor properties of different types of tumor-infiltrating immune cells. They found that in certain aggressive types of breast cancer, such as basal-like or triple negative disease, these immune signatures were highly predictive of cancer recurrence years after initial treatment.

"Strikingly, the patients who seemed to benefit the most were those with highly proliferative and clinically aggressive disease," Miller said. "In these cases, high expression levels of the immune genes predicted for recurrence-free survival, while low immune gene expression predicted for a high likelihood of cancer recurrence."

An important next step, Miller said, will be translating this into a diagnostic test that may help doctors make more informed treatment decisions.

"Knowing a tumor's immunogenic disposition could help oncologists know whether to prescribe more or less aggressive treatment regimens, or perhaps, to know which drugs, specifically, will be most effective," he said.

For doctors like Bayard Powell, M.D., chief of hematology and oncology at Wake Forest Baptist's Comprehensive Cancer Center, new drugs designed to enhance anti-tumor immune responses are beginning to play a major role in the treatment of certain forms of cancer.

"At Wake Forest Baptist we are now fighting cancer with state-of-the-art therapies including immunotherapeutics," Powell said. "How a tumor's immunogenic disposition influences the effectiveness of immunotherapeutic drugs is an important question that could lead to valuable new strategies in personalized medicine."


Further Information
Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 2,500+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 3,700+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters


Sign In



Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into TechnologyNetworks.com you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.


Scientific News
Poor Survival Rates in Leukemia Linked to Persistent Genetic Mutations
For patients with an often-deadly form of leukemia, new research suggests that lingering cancer-related mutations – detected after initial treatment with chemotherapy – are associated with an increased risk of relapse and poor survival.
Marijuana Genome Unraveled
A study by Canadian researchers is providing a clearer picture of the evolutionary history and genetic organization of cannabis, a step that could have agricultural, medical and legal implications for this valuable crop.
Growing Hepatitis C in the Lab
Recent discovery allows study of naturally occurring forms of hepatitis C virus (HCV) in the lab.
Signature of Microbiomes Linked to Schizophrenia
Studying microbiomes in throat may help identify causes and treatments of brain disorder.
Study Identifies the Off Switch for Biofilm Formation
New discovery could help prevent the formation of infectious bacterial films on hospital equipment.
Genetic Overlapping in Multiple Autoimmune Diseases May Suggest Common Therapies
CHOP genomics expert leads analysis of genetic architecture, with eye on repurposing existing drugs.
Fat in the Family?
Study could lead to therapeutics that boost metabolism.
Combo Tool
Joining molecular components expands ability to manipulate genes in specific cell types.
Team Identifies Structure of Tumor-Suppressing Protein
An international group of researchers led by Carnegie Mellon University physicists Mathias Lösche and Frank Heinrich have established the structure of an important tumor suppressing protein, PTEN.
Genes Associated With Improved Survival for Pancreatic Cancer Patients
Use of non-invasive liquid biopsies could predict in which patients the cancer could recur following surgery.
Skyscraper Banner

Skyscraper Banner
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
 
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
2,500+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
3,700+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FREE!