December 13, 2010

Protein Predictor Of Tumors?

(Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Researchers at Vanderbilt University Medical Center suggest that decreased expression of the protein alpha-2 integrin is predictive of tumor dissemination to distant sites and decreased survival in individuals with either breast or prostate cancer.

The researchers first studied the role of the protein alpha-2-beta-1 integrin (which is composed of the alpha-2 integrin protein and the beta-1 integrin protein) in cancer initiation and progression using a clinically relevant, spontaneous mouse model of breast cancer progression and metastasis (spread).

Their data indicated that alpha-2-beta-1 integrin suppressed metastasis. To investigate whether the data had any immediate clinical applicability, a systematic analysis of microarray databases of human breast and prostate cancer was performed.

The results of this analysis showed that decreased expression of the gene responsible for generating alpha-2 integrin was predictive of metastasis and decreased survival, leading to the suggestion that alpha-2 integrin expression could be a useful biomarker of metastatic potential and patient survival.

SOURCE : Journal of Clinical Investigation, December 2010