AffiliationBreast Biology Group, Division of Cancer Studies, Faculty of Medicine and Human Sciences, University of Manchester, Paterson Institute for Cancer Research, Wilmslow Road, Manchester, M20 4BX, UK.
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AbstractAdult stem cells are found in numerous tissues of the body and play a role in tissue development, replacement and repair. Evidence shows that breast stem cells are multipotent and can self renew, which are key characteristics of stem cells, and a single cell enriched with cell surface markers has the ability to grow a fully functional mammary gland in vivo. Many groups have extrapolated the cancer stem cell hypothesis from the haematopoietic system to solid cancers, where using in vitro culture techniques and in vivo transplant models have established evidence of cancer stem cells in colon, pancreas, prostate, brain and breast cancers. In the report we describe the evidence for breast cancer stem cells; studies consistently show that stem cell like and breast cancer initiating populations can be enriched using cell surface makers CD44+/CD24- and have upregulated genes which include Notch. Notch signalling has been highlighted as a pathway involved in the development of the breast and is frequently dysregulated in invasive breast cancer. We have investigated the role of Notch in a pre-invasive breast lesion, ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), and have found that aberrant activation of Notch signalling is an early event in breast cancer. High expression of Notch 1 intracellular domain (NICD) in DCIS also predicted a reduced time to recurrence 5 years after surgery. Using a non-adherent sphere culture technique we have grown DCIS mammospheres from primary DCIS tissue, where self-renewal capacity, measured by the number of mammosphere initiating cells, were increased from normal breast tissue. A gamma-secretase inhibitor, DAPT, which inhibits all four Notch receptors and a Notch 4 neutralising antibody were shown to reduce DCIS mammosphere formation, indicating that Notch signalling and other stem cell self-renewal pathways may represent novel therapeutic targets to prevent recurrence of pre-invasive and invasive breast cancer.
CitationMammary stem cells and breast cancer--role of Notch signalling. 2007, 3 (2):169-75 Stem Cell Rev
JournalStem Cell Reviews
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Ovarian cancer among 8,005 women from a breast cancer family history clinic: no increased risk of invasive ovarian cancer in families testing negative for BRCA1 and BRCA2.Ingham, S; Warwick, J; Buchan, I; Sahin, S; O'Hara, Catherine; Moran, Anthony; Howell, Anthony; Evans, D; Centre for Health Informatics, Institute of Population Health, The University of Manchester, Manchester, UK. (2013-06)Mutations in BRCA1/2 genes confer ovarian, alongside breast, cancer risk. We examined the risk of developing ovarian cancer in BRCA1/2-positive families and if this risk is extended to BRCA negative families.
Equivalence of three or four cycles of bleomycin, etoposide, and cisplatin chemotherapy and of a 3- or 5-day schedule in good-prognosis germ cell cancer: a randomized study of the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Genitourinary Tract Cancer Cooperative Group and the Medical Research Council.De Wit, Ronald; Roberts, J Trevor; Wilkinson, Peter M; De Mulder, Pieter H M; Mead, Graham M; Fosså, S D; Cook, P; De Prijck, Linda; Stenning, S; Collette, L; Rotterdam Cancer Institute and University Hospital, Rotterdam, The Netherlands. firstname.lastname@example.org (2001-03-15)PURPOSE: To test the equivalence of three versus four cycles of bleomycin, etoposide, and cisplatin (BEP) and of the 5-day schedule versus 3 days per cycle in good-prognosis germ cell cancer. PATIENTS AND METHODS: The study was designed as a 2 x 2 factorial trial. The aim was to rule out a 5% decrease in the 2-year progression-free survival (PFS) rate. The study included the assessment of patient quality of life. A cycle of BEP consisted of etoposide 500 mg/m(2), administered at either 100 mg/m(2) days 1 through 5 or 165 mg/m(2) days 1 through 3, cisplatin 100 mg/m(2), administered at either 20 mg/m(2) days 1 through 5 or 50 mg/m(2) days 1 and 2. Bleomycin 30 mg was administered on days 1, 8, and 15 during cycles 1 through 3. The randomization procedure allowed some investigators to participate only in the comparison of three versus four cycles. RESULTS: From March 1995 until April 1998, 812 patients were randomly assigned to receive three or four cycles: of these, 681 were also randomly assigned to the 5-day or the 3-day schedule. Histology, marker values, and disease extent are well balanced in the treatment arms of the two comparisons. The projected 2-year PFS is 90.4% on three cycles and 89.4% on four cycles. The difference in PFS between three and four cycles is -1.0% (80% confidence limit [CL], -3.8%, +1.8%). Equivalence for three versus four cycles is claimed because both the upper and lower bounds of the 80% CL are less than 5%. In the 5- versus 3-day comparison, the projected 2-year PFS is 88.8% and 89.7%, respectively (difference, -0.9%, (80% CL, -4.1%, +2.2%). Hence, equivalence is claimed in this comparison also. Frequencies of hematologic and nonhematologic toxicities were essentially similar. Quality of life was maintained better in patients receiving three cycles; no differences were detected between 3 and 5 days of treatment. CONCLUSION: We conclude that three cycles of BEP, with etoposide at 500 mg/m(2), is sufficient therapy in good-prognosis germ cell cancer and that the administration of the chemotherapy in 3 days has no detrimental effect on the effectiveness of the BEP regimen.
Penetrance estimates for BRCA1 and BRCA2 based on genetic testing in a Clinical Cancer Genetics service setting: risks of breast/ovarian cancer quoted should reflect the cancer burden in the family.Evans, D Gareth R; Shenton, Andrew; Woodward, Emma; Lalloo, Fiona; Howell, Anthony; Maher, Eamonn R; Academic Unit of Medical Genetics and Regional Genetics Service, St Mary's Hospital Manchester M13 0JH, UK. email@example.com (2008)BACKGROUND: The identification of a BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation in familial breast cancer kindreds allows genetic testing of at risk relatives. However, considerable controversy exists regarding the cancer risks in women who test positive for the family mutation. METHODS: We reviewed 385 unrelated families (223 with BRCA1 and 162 with BRCA2 mutations) ascertained through two regional cancer genetics services. We estimated the penetrance for both breast and ovarian cancer in female mutation carriers (904 proven mutation carriers - 1442 females in total assumed to carry the mutation) and also assessed the effect on penetrance of mutation position and birth cohort. RESULTS: Breast cancer penetrance to 70 and to 80 years was 68% (95%CI 64.7-71.3%) and 79.5% (95%CI 75.5-83.5%) respectively for BRCA1 and 75% (95%CI 71.7-78.3%) and 88% (95%CI 85.3-91.7%) for BRCA2. Ovarian cancer risk to 70 and to 80 years was 60% (95%CI 65-71%) and 65% (95%CI 75-84%) for BRCA1 and 30% (95%CI 25.5-34.5%) and 37% (95%CI 31.5-42.5%) for BRCA2. These risks were borne out by a prospective study of cancer in the families and genetic testing of unaffected relatives. We also found evidence of a strong cohort effect with women born after 1940 having a cumulative risk of 22% for breast cancer by 40 years of age compared to 8% in women born before 1930 (p = 0.0005). CONCLUSION: In high-risk families, selected in a genetics service setting, women who test positive for the familial BRCA1/BRCA2 mutation are likely to have cumulative breast cancer risks in keeping with the estimates obtained originally from large families. This is particularly true for women born after 1940.