10 Years After Childbirth, Increased Breast Cancer Metastasis Risk

Previous research has identified an increased risk of metastasis for women diagnosed with breast cancer within five years after giving birth. In a new study, however, researchers at the University of Colorado Cancer Center and Oregon Health & Science University have found that the higher metastasis risk for postpartum breast cancer (PPBC) lasts for 10 years after the last childbirth. "This is the first study to demonstrate that a postpartum breast cancer diagnosed up to ten years after last ...

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Christmas Berry Compound: Potential Uveal Melanoma Treatment

For half of patients with uveal melanoma, this rare cancer of the eye ultimately metastasizes to the liver. Once in the liver, the prognosis is bleak: patients typically live 2 to 9 months after diagnosis. Patients whose cancer has metastasized have few options for treatment. Recently, however, scientists conducting research on various treatments may have discovered the answer: a compound called FR900359 (FR), found in Christmas berry primrose plants of the Ardisia crenata species. With further ...

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Pancreatic Cancer Cells Starved by Compound Found in Vine

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry at the Julius Maximilian University of Würzburgin Germany and the Institute of Natural Medicine of the University of Toyama in Japan have discovered a potential new treatment for pancreatic cancer: a compound called ancistrolikokine E3, which is derived from twigs of the vine Ancistrocladus likoko. Pancreatic cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer deaths, with less than 10% of patients surviving beyond five years. Pancreatic cancer cells...

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New Statistical Method Predicts Breast Cancer Metastasis

​Using a new statistical method, researchers have provided the first population-based summaries of the risk of breast cancer recurrence among women in the United States. Because cancer registries do not collect data regarding population-representative risks of metastatic disease recurrence, there is a dearth of available data on this topic. In a study published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, researchers designed a new method to estimate the risk of cancer recurren...

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Device Can Predict Propensity for Metastasis

Disease growth to distant tissues and organs is the leading cause of cancer-related death. Up until recently, there was only technology available to detect when cancer had already metastasized; however, scientists at University of California San Diego School of Medicine developed sensors that have the capability of detecting and measuring cancer's growth potential. "Cancer would not be so devastating if it did not metastasize. Although there are many ways to detect metastasis once it has occurre...

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New Biomarker Predicts Cancer Prognosis

Cancer diagnoses do not always come with a predictable future; sometimes, the impending course of the disease is uncertain. However, this terrifying unknown may soon be a thing of the past. When Jason Sheltzer, PhD, a Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Fellow from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and software engineer Joan Smith pored over the genomic profiles of 17,879 patients with cancer in search of common identifiable factors, they discovered a specific type of biomarker that can determine...

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Test Predicts Metastatic Potential of Prostate Cancer

The ability to know whether prostate cancer will stay local or spread to the bone or distant organs is crucial in regard to deciding which treatment to pursue: conservative management or more aggressive therapy. Copy number alterations (CNAs)—mutations that delete or repeat large sections of DNA—are the key to determining cancer prognosis. Investigators have invented new, cost-effective technology, called the Next-Generation Copy Number Alteration, to detect CNAs and potentially aid in prostate ...

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Preventing Chemotherapy-Induced Metastasis in Breast Cancer

Chemotherapy is effective in treating invasive breast cancer. But can it also cause metastasis? Experimental studies in mice have suggested that this may be the case. In a further investigation of this matter, an international team of researchers has shown that two classes of chemotherapy drugs used in neoadjuvant (pre-operative) breast cancer therapy, taxanes and anthracyclines, cause tumors to release extracellular vesicles (EVs) such as exosomes that can enable the seeding and growth of metas...

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JAG1 Key to Development of Metastasis

A malignant tumor's microenvironment is influenced by cancer stem cells (CSCs) and a process called epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT). Tumor growth, therapeutic resistance, and cancer metastasis are all affected by CSCs and EMT. An awareness of what dictates the tumor microenvironment could be critical to further research regarding how metastasis occurs. In a new study published in Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences, researchers at both Rice University and Duke University ha...

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Germline Mutations’ Effects on Prostate Cancer

In the case of metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC), mutations in germline DNA damage repair (gDDR) genes are found in a significant percentage of patients. However, the consequences of these mutations have until now been unknown. Scientists from the Prostate Cancer Clinical Research Unit at the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO) have contributed to understanding the connection between mCRPC and germline mutations. In the researchers' study, published in the Journa...

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Tumor Hypoxia: A Key to Drug Resistance and Metastasis

Cancerous tumors are resilient. With the ability to survive hypoxic—low oxygen—environments that would kill normal tissue, malignancies are able to resist treatment and metastasize. Little has been known about the molecular hallmarks of tumor hypoxia. Researchers have now made significant progress in this area, identifying markers and characteristics that are shared by various hypoxic tumor types. In these experiments, published in Nature Genetics, 8,000 tumors belonging to 19 different cancer t...

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Metastasis Risk in Postpartum Breast Cancer: An Interview With Virginia Borges, MD, MMSc

​In their previous research, Virginia F. Borges, MD, MMSc, and colleagues identified an increased risk of metastasis for women diagnosed with breast cancer within five years after giving birth. However, in their latest study, Dr. Borges and her fellow researchers from the University of Colorado Cancer Center and Oregon Health & Science University found that the increased risk of metastasis actually lasts for 10 years after the most recent childbirth. In this interview with i3 Health, Dr. Bor...

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“Platelet Decoys” Fight Metastasis

Researchers have devised a new tool for preventing metastasis: a reversible, drug-free antiplatelet therapy made from modified human platelets. Platelets, which are essential to the formation of blood clots, provide crucial protection against bleeding. However, hyperactive platelets are implicated in a number of illnesses, including heart attack, stroke, and cancer. By binding to tumor cells, platelets protect the tumor cells from the immune system. Furthermore, they may help cancer cells travel...

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New Therapeutic Target for Melanoma Brain Metastases

Almost half of patients with malignant melanoma develop metastases in different organs, with 60% of metastases spreading to the brain. Once the cancer metastasizes, the 5-year survival rate plummets to 5% to 19%. Metastasized malignancies are resistant to current immunotherapies and targeted therapies; however, researchers at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center discovered that oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) can be a potential treatment target. "Brain metastases are increasingly...

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Pyruvate: A Nutrient Necessary for Metastasis

Researchers from the Vlaams Instituut voor Biotechnologie-Katholieke Universiteit (VIB-KU) Leuven Center for Cancer Biology discovered that the nutrient pyruvate is necessary to create favorable conditions for metastasis in cancer cells' extracellular matrix. In order for cancer cells to metastasize, they must create a metastatic niche. First, cancer cells must activate the enzyme collagen prolyl-4-hydroxylase (p4HA) to start forming the environment around them. Enzymatic reactions that occur in...

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Preventing Metastasis to the Liver

Why is the liver the most common site of metastatic disease? Part of the reason may be that circulating tumor cells are trapped by the liver, which filters the blood coming from the digestive tract before it reaches the rest of the body. That is not the whole story, however. Metastasis to the liver depends on the formation of a "pro-metastatic niche," which creates the conditions that support the spread of tumor cells to the liver. Until now, little has been known about the mechanisms behin...

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Fulvestrant/Anastrozole in Metastatic Breast Cancer: Long-Term Efficacy

A phase 3 clinical trial (NCT00075764) reports that for postmenopausal patients with hormone receptor (HR)-positive metastatic breast cancer, adding fulvestrant (Faslodex®, AstraZeneca) to anastrozole (Arimidex®, AstraZeneca) as first-line therapy increases long-term survival in comparison with anastrozole alone. Approximately two thirds of breast cancers are HR-positive, meaning that the cancer cells have receptors that attach to the hormones estrogen and/or progesterone. For HR-positive cancer...

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Breast Cancer: Liquid Biopsies Better Than Tumor Biopsies

Patients with hormone receptor (HR)-positive metastatic breast cancer are typically treated with endocrine therapy. However, patients with mutations in the genes PIK3CA and ESR1 usually develop resistance to endocrine therapy. To discover ways to effectively identify PIK3CA and ESR1 mutations in patients with HR-positive metastatic breast cancer and predict treatment outcomes, researchers at Stanford University evaluated the efficacy of using liquid biopsies compared with solid tumor biopsies to...

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Eribulin Is Effective in Metastatic Breast Cancer

For many patients with metastatic breast cancer, a resistance to hormone therapy develops, and cumulative toxicity, comorbidities, performance status, and prior adjuvant therapy influence the next step for treatment. Due to all of these factors, finding an effective, well-tolerated treatment can be difficult. However, results from a phase 3 clinical trial, published in the European Journal of Cancer, reveal that scientists are a step closer to this goal: eribulin (Halaven®, Eisai Inc.) monothera...

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E-Selectin: Key Player in Bone Metastasis

​Researchers at Princeton University report that E-selectin plays a crucial role in promoting bone metastasis through its initiation of mesenchymal-epithelial transition (MET). During the process of metastasis, the disseminated tumor cells need to engage specific components of distant organs' stroma—supporting connective tissue and blood vessels—in order to survive and spread. But how does this happen? "A large majority of human cancers are carcinomas derived from epithelial cells," explained Yi...

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