Comments on AACR Advances in Breast Cancer Research – Act with Love

See on Scoop.itResources For People Living With A Cancer Diagnosis & Their Families & Care-Partners

“Notes from Susan Love MD

I spent the weekend at the AACR Advances in Breast Cancer Research Meeting in San Diego, where we shared a poster about the Army of Women to try to seduce more scientists to use this resource.  While I did not get to hear all the sessions here are my notes from both the abstracts and the talks.  I hope it gives you both a taste of the meeting and encouragement as to the types of research that are being done.  I was impressed in general with the number of talks focused on metastatic disease as well as the subtypes. 

The opening keynote session was on tumor plasticity and reactive stroma in breast cancer metastases from Yibin Kang at Princeton. The abstract started with “Metastases represents the most devastating stage of cancer progression: The multi-step cascade of cancer metastasis is driven by both intrinsic changes of cancer cell properties, as well as the stromal reaction to tumor cells.” My usual metaphor for this is thinking of a neighborhood where the individuals in the neighborhood with their own talents, neurosis, and problems (the actual cancer cells) interact with each other and also relate to the conditions and other people in the neighborhood i.e. graffiti, garbage on the street, drug pushers, crime, gangs etc.  All the factors combine together to lead to bad things happening.  This keynote was focused on how the original cancer cells change from epithelial cells to mesenchymal cells (called epithelial to mesenchymal transition or EMT) to spread in the blood stream and then once in their chosen tissue change back again.  They have found a new transcription factor that is critical for this process in both directions and may well be able to serve as a suppressor of EMT and therefore of metastases.  It could also potentially put metastatic cells back into a dormant state. This is still in rats but holds promise and would not be a form of chemotherapy but rather a molecular type treatment i.e. more like the hormonal (although it is not a hormone) than chemotherapy.  They also talked about their studies on bone metastases and have identified TGFbeta and Notch signaling pathways as important and that their inhibitors could reduce bone metastases.”


Heather Swift‘s insight:

Dr. Susan Love gives great insight into the topics covered at the AACR Breast Cancer Research meeting October 3-6, 2013. This is well worth reading the whole article.

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