New weapon against breast cancer

first_imgHarvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI) researchers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI) and collaborators at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) have identified a molecular marker in normal breast tissue that can predict a woman’s risk for developing breast cancer, the leading cause of death in women with cancer worldwide.The work, led by HSCI principal faculty member Kornelia Polyak and Rulla Tamimi of BWH, was published in an early online release and in the April 1 issue of Cancer Research.The study builds on Polyak’s earlier research finding that women already identified as having a high risk of developing cancer — namely those with a mutation called BRCA1 or BRCA2 — or women who did not give birth before their 30s had a higher number of mammary gland progenitor cells.In the latest study, Polyak, Tamimi, and their colleagues examined biopsies, some taken as many as four decades ago, from 302 participants in the Nurses’ Health Study and the Nurses’ Health Study II who had been diagnosed with benign breast disease. The researchers compared tissue from the 69 women who later developed cancer to the tissue from the 233 women who did not. They found that women were five times as likely to develop cancer if they had a higher percentage of Ki67, a molecular marker that identifies proliferating cells, in the cells that line the mammary ducts and milk-producing lobules. These cells, called the mammary epithelium, undergo drastic changes throughout a woman’s life, and the majority of breast cancers originate in these tissues.Doctors already test breast tumors for Ki67 levels, which can inform decisions about treatment, but this is the first time scientists have been able to link Ki67 to precancerous tissue and use it as a predictive tool.“Instead of only telling women that they don’t have cancer, we could test the biopsies and tell women if they were at high risk or low risk for developing breast cancer in the future,” said Polyak, a breast cancer researcher at Dana-Farber and co-senior author of the paper.“Currently, we are not able to do a very good job at distinguishing women at high and low risk of breast cancer,” added co-senior author Tamimi, an associate professor at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Harvard Medical School. “By identifying women at high risk of breast cancer, we can better develop individualized screening and also target risk reducing strategies.”To date, mammograms are the best tool for the early detection, but there are risks associated with screening. False positive and negative results and over-diagnosis could cause psychological distress, delay treatment, or lead to overtreatment, according to the National Cancer Institute (NCI).Mammography machines also use low doses of radiation. While a single mammogram is unlikely to cause harm, repeated screening can potentially cause cancer, though the NCI writes that the benefits “nearly always outweigh the risks.”“If we can minimize unnecessary radiation for women at low risk, that would be good,” said Tamimi.Screening for Ki67 levels would “be easy to apply in the current setting,” said Polyak, though the researchers first want to reproduce the results in an independent cohort of women.last_img read more

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Favre runs out of magic

first_img The Packers fell to 0-4 for the first time since 1988. Rallying Green Bay from a 19-point third-quarter deficit, Favre threw two touchdown passes and for two 2-point conversions in the fourth quarter and had the Packers in position to possibly win the game on their final drive. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe top 10 theme park moments of 2019 But with running back Ahman Green on the sidelines with an injured knee and no timeouts left, Favre had to do it all on his own when Green Bay got the ball back with 1:58 to play. He completed two passes before Carolina (2-2) stopped the Packers on a fourth-and-2. Favre threw the ball to Donald Driver past the first-down line, but Chris Gamble knocked the ball out of his hands and it fell incomplete. The Panthers let out a sigh of relief after nearly giving one away. Jake Delhomme threw two touchdown passes and Stephen Davis ran for two more as the Panthers built an early lead and put themselves in position to ride out an easy win. Perhaps that’s just where Favre wanted them. CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Brett Favre showed he still has some Monday night magic – just not enough to prevent the Green Bay Packers from getting off to their worst start in 17 years. Favre threw four touchdown passes but couldn’t overcome two early turnovers that the Carolina Panthers used to build a big lead and then held on for a 32-29 victory. center_img “I was just praying for our defense to get a stop,” Delhomme said. “He was awesome tonight. I’m just honored to be on the same field with him.” Delhomme was 17 of 24 for 206 yards and Davis carried 19 times for 51 yards. Steve Smith, who scored three touchdowns last week against Miami, caught only two passes for 12 yards. Trailing 26-7 midway through the third quarter, Favre turned it up a level. He led by example on an 80-yard scoring drive, sprinting up the middle for a 12-yard gain on third-and-8 then finishing it off with a 26-yard TD pass to Driver. Favre finished 28 of 47 for 303 yards and four touchdowns. It was his 19th game of four or more touchdown passes, second to Dan Marino’s record 21. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

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