Breast Cancer is a dynamic and devastating disease that kills and affects millions of people. Some of the newest research is fascinating. There have been discoveries from what may potentially cause breast cancer, to preventions of breast cancer. To understand the research behind breast cancer and why it is so important you must first understand what breast cancer is. Breast cancer is a malignant tumor that starts from cells of the breast. A malignant tumor is a group of cancer cells that may invade surrounding tissues or spread to distant areas of the body.
The disease occurs almost entirely in women, but men can get it, too. (Dictionary definition) In one research study Wilhelm Lubbe, M. D. ,Ph. D. , chief resident from Fox Chase Cancer Center discovered the risk factors for the spread of Breast cancer to lymph nodes. The purpose of the study was to see if the appearance of LVI (lymphatic vessel invasion) in breast tissue actually was able to predict the recurrence of breast cancer in the lymph nodes. LVI is when cancer cells invade blood vessels or lymphatic channels of the tumor. Some previous scientists argued that it did not.
However, after studying thousands of woman and records dating back 30 years, Wilhelm was able to prove that the presence of LVI in breast tissue does in fact predict the recurrence of cancer in lymph nodes. Knowing this will help doctors in the future make a prognosis and suggest treatments to those areas (such as the armpit). Because this discovery is so new it is unknown on whether additional radiation in these areas will improve the outcome. “Our data suggest that patients who are at higher risk of their cancer spreading can potentially benefit from additional radiation by a technique called a posterior axillary boost,” Lubbe said.
“But the recommendation to add radiation, and what technique is used, is very patient-specific, because with any intervention there’s additional risk. ” The results of this study are going to be released at the Annual Meeting of the American Society for Radiation Oncology. In another very interesting research study, Matrix Bio released results that allowed the detection of reoccurring cancer 13 months earlier than clinical diagnosis. This new discovery has the potential to help thousands of patients detect the disease allowing the patient to undergo treatment more quickly and more successfully.
To understand the way the test was developed I have included a direct quote from the article so that I do not misinterpret any of the facts. “Matrix Bio’s cancer monitoring test was developed using a powerful combination of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and mass spectrometry analytical methods. The test also can be run on a single mass spectrometry platform. In the study, the test demonstrated the ability to identify metabolite signals between the recurrence of cancer and no evidence of cancer with a sensitivity of 86 percent and a specificity of 84 percent.
This result is two times more sensitive than the current cancer monitoring blood tests CA 27. 29 and CA 15-3. In addition, the BCR test opens up a window for second line therapy by more than one year compared to those tests. ” “It’s important to note that current blood tests do not pick up recurrence in the 20 percent of breast cancer survivors who do express the protein targeted by these CA tests,” Raftery said Obviously, this new founding can mean wonderful things for the future and for current cancer patients, this study is a great starting point for researchers and has offered hope to many.
The next study I’ll talk about involves the relation of mammographic breast density to lobular involution and if they are directly correlated. Researchers tested 2666 women whose breast disease was benign for 13. 3 years; 172 (6. 5%) women subsequently developed breast cancer. The researchers took their group of women from a larger study that was conducted by the Mayo clinic. Results found that each of these factors alone increased risk factors for breast cancer, but together they increase the risk even more.
The author wrote: “Our findings also reveal that having a combination of dense breasts and no lobular involution was associated with higher breast cancer risk than having non-dense or fatty breasts and complete involution. ” From this study, researchers hope to improve the evaluating process and ability to predict such cancers, and this research study has provided a great step towards that. Another study done by Ohio State University introduces a protein that will potentially help identify certain cancers early.
If the protein is verified it could serve as a option for early detection in cancers. Also, a vaccine called Piwil2-like (PL2L) proteins might be able to prevent benign cancer tumors from becoming cancer. The researchers used mouse tumors and human cancer cell lines to conduct the study. A lot of the language from this study I didn’t really understand. But, the overall understanding that I took from this study is that they were studying two proteins PL2L proteins and Piwil 2 proteins. What they found was that the two proteins actually play opposite roles in tumor development.
The PL2L proteins are co-expressed with a cell survival and growth promoting protein called NF-? B in proliferating tumor cells of primary and metastatic cancers, such as breast and cervical cancers. While the Piwil 2 proteins were found in dead or dying tumor cells. The author said this: “Because PL2L60 is consistently expressed in many types and all stages of cancer, we believe it might play a role in tumor initiation and progression, but might be distinct from the known oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes with regard to its tumorigenic mechanism,” Gao says.
“We believe we may have identified a common tumor antigen that may play a role in tumor development generally and serve as a bridge linking cancer diagnostics and anticancer drug development,” Gao says. This last study that I will talk about is probably the most interesting to me. A machine has recently been produced that will allow for women to detect breast cancer within seconds. Professor Zhipeng Wu from the University of Manchester has invented a machine made from radio frequency technology that will allow a computer to show tumors in the breast whether malignant or benign.
This technology has already been proven but up to this time it has taken up to minutes to see a picture or to detect a tumor. This system would allow patients to be tested quickly and avoid wait times. It’s also a lot less expensive and less evasive. Because up to this time the only way to detect cancer is through an XRay Mammography. That machine is most effective in women over 50 years old. But, this new technology would help in detecting cancer in women under the age of 50. XRay Mammography is 95% effective in women over 50 but only 60% effective in women under the age of 50.
With such a large gap for accurateness, a discovery or machine in this capacity could mean wonderful things for women and the cancer foundation. The machine is also real time; up to 30 images can be produced every second. The author said: “Although there is still research to be done, the system has great potential to bring a new way for breast cancer diagnosis. This will benefit millions of women in both developed and developing countries bearing in mind that one in nine women may develop breast cancer in their lifetime.
” The inventor of this machine has submitted his work to IET Innovation Awards, the winners will be announced in November. I think that we can all agree that Breast Cancer is a serious disease that affects thousands if not millions of people, and 1 in every 8 women will be affected by breast cancer in their lifetime. Research is getting better and more dynamic every day. It is unknown if a cure for this disease will ever be found. But, with interesting studies and determined scientists we get closer than we ever were before.
Works Cited Fox Chase Cancer Center (2010, November 2). Risk factors for the spread of breast cancer to lymph nodes identified. ScienceDaily. Retrieved. Cancer Research Publishes Matrix-Bio’s Study on Detecting Breast Cancer Recurrence. (20 October). Business Wire. Retrieved November 3, 2010, from ProQuest Newsstand. (Document ID: 2167941591). Journal of the National Cancer Institute (2010, October 31). Breast density, no lobular involution. ScienceDaily. Retrieved.
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (2010, October 28). Genetic variants may affect the risk of breast cancer in women with BRCA2 mutations. ScienceDaily. Retrieved. Ohio State University Medical Center (2010, October 21). New tumor proteins may identify a range of cancers early. ScienceDaily. Retrieved. Ye Y, Yin D-T, Chen L, Zhou Q, Shen R, et al. (2010) Identification of Piwil2-Like (PL2L) Proteins that Promote Tumorigenesis. PLoS ONE 5(10): e13406. doi:10. 1371/journal. pone. 0013406.