Thursday, August 30, 2007
According to a study published today in the journal Nature shows that a gene called Tip60 is involved in the development of breast cancer. But more importantly.........reduced expression of Tip60 protein leads to more aggressive tumors. Tip60 is a tumor suppressor gene unlike others.....
Let me explain. Usually you are required to have both copies of a tumor suppressor gene affected to start developing tumors. I feel that this theory along with all things mendelian will start to fade away. Why? Because we are much more complicated that punnet squares. The field of systems biology is growing and we will soon realize that we are a complex interactome, not just autosomal/Xlinked/Ylinked dominant/recessive genes.
So where were we? Well it turns out that this tumor suppressor gene only needs one copy malfunctioning to start enhancing tumor growth
From the Primary Investigator Dr Tim Crook "More aggressive types of breast cancers tend to recur after treatment, spread to other parts of the body and respond less well to chemotherapy. The identification of Tip60's role in breast cancer is a step towards predicting the aggressiveness of the disease and then individualising chemotherapy for women. If we can transfer this knowledge to the clinic, it could have dramatic effects."
From the Study
* Activity of the Tip60 gene was found to be lower in nearly half of all ductal breast cancers studied (21 of 52 cases) and in 17 out of 20 of tumours classed as 'high grade'
* The amount of TIP60 protein was studied in an additional 179 breast cancer samples. In almost three quarters of these (129/179), there was no TIP60 protein present in the cells' nucleus - in healthy cells this is where most of it is located. The proportion of cancers lacking nuclear TIP60 was even higher when they singled-out aggressive cancers and early cancers - suggesting that this is an early event in breast cancer development.
The Sherpa Says: Personalized medicine is coming and in many cases it is already here. This is an example of tumor tissue sampling to analyze outcomes. What is truly needed is a tissue bank that can put phenotype with genotype. Then we can have an excellent expression array analysis combined with phenotypic markers. This is the best way to put together personalized oncology. Trust me it is coming. Soon.....