Developing a Test to Estimate Metastatic Probability of Breast Cancer

Developing a Test to Estimate Metastatic Probability of Breast Cancer
shutterstock_227848060The perfect recipe for metastatic breast cancer uses an endothelial cell, a perivascular macrophage, and a tumor cell that produces high levels of a protein called Mena, according to new work from Albert Einstein Cancer Center and Montefiore Einstein Center for Cancer Care. Maja Oktay, MD, PhD, in the department of pathology, led a study that investigated this combination of cells using patient-derived breast cancer tumor cells and in vitro-cultured blood vessel lining cells (endothelial cells). As motivation for this work, Dr. Oktay stated in a news release, "The outcome for patients with metastatic breast cancer hasn't improved in the past 30 years despite the development of targeted therapies. It's critically important to learn more about the metastatic process so we can develop new ways to predict whether cancer will spread and identify new treatments". To begin the learning process, Dr. Oktay's laboratory first looked to earlier studies that combined animal models and human cancer cell lines. A number of studies identified that the trio of cells provides a location at which tumor cells enter blood vessels--it is known as the tumor microenvironment of metastasis (TMEM). Based on the num
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