Trio of genes plays role in breast ca mets to brain

July 23, 2009
Volume 18, Issue 7

Cell surface coating may play a major role in the spread of breast cancer to the brain, according to a study out of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York. Three genes-COX2, HB-EGF, and ST6GALNAC5-have been found to mediate the metastasis of breast cancer to the brain, reported lead author Joan Massagué, PhD, and colleagues (Nature online, May 6, 2009)

Cell surface coating may play a major role in the spread of breast cancer to the brain, according to a study out of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York. Three genes-COX2, HB-EGF, and ST6GALNAC5-have been found to mediate the metastasis of breast cancer to the brain, reported lead author Joan Massagu, PhD, and colleagues (Nature online, May 6, 2009).

COX2 and HB-EGF induce cancer cell mobility and invasiveness, while ST6GALNAC5 provide cells with the capability of exiting the blood circulation and passing through the blood-brain barrier, they explained. The researchers isolated cancer cells that preferentially targeted the brain from patients with advanced disease.