More Aggressive Breast Cancers Result of Gene Fusion

More Aggressive Breast Cancers Result of Gene Fusion
A collaboration between Dr. Xiaosong Wang and Dr. Rachel Schiff, both from the Lester and Sue Smith Breast Cancer Center at Baylor College of Medicine, discovered a genetic reason for more aggressive forms of luminal B breast cancer subtypes, which are estrogen-receptor positive (ER+). As detailed in their report published in Nature Communications, entitled, "Recurrent ​ESR1–​CCDC170 rearrangements in an aggressive subset of ​estrogen receptor-positive breast cancers," the gene fusion known as ESR1-CCDC170 is common in luminal, ER+ tumors. "While expressing the estrogen receptor, the luminal B breast cancers usually have higher tumor grade, larger tumor size, and poor prognosis, with most cases difficult to treat by endocrine therapy," said Dr. Wang in a news release from BCM. "We wanted to gain a deeper understanding about the genetic alterations underlying this particular form of breast cancer, because we do not know about what malfunctions potentially cause this form to be more aggressive." To do so, the collaborators, along with lead authors Dr. Jamunarani Veeraraghavan, Dr. Ying Tan, and Dr. Xi-Xi Cao, studied 200 tumor samples from the Lester and Sue Smith Breast Center's Tumor Bank and used data from the National Human Genome Research Initiative's Cancer Genome Atlas. Eight of the 200 tumors were positive for ESR1-CCDC170, a fusion between the estrogen receptor gene and its neighbor. "In a majority of cases this fusion seems to be generated by a tandem duplication of the genetic material spanning the ESR1 and CCDC170 genes," explained Dr. Wang. The gene rearrangement caused information transfer to be disrupted within the tumor cells. In order to identify a role for ESR1-CCDC170 in stimulating aggressive cancers, the team introduced the gene fusio
Subscribe or to access all post and page content.