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Caper: A Novel Biomarker For Predicting Ductal Carcinoma In Situ (Dcis) Progression To Invasive Breast Cancer ?
Career Catalyst Research
Breast cancer is a major cause of death in the United States and the Western World. Advanced medical technologies and therapeutic strategies are necessary for the successful detection, diagnosis, and treatment of breast cancer. Here, we propose to use novel technologies (tissue microarrays (TMA) and automated quantivative bioimaging (AQUA)) to identify new therapeutic and prognostic markers for human breast cancer. More specifically, we will study the activation status of a new signaling pathway which we have implicated in breast cancer pathogenesis, using both mouse animal models and cells in culture. For this purpose, we will study the association of CAPER expression with pre-malignant lesions and progression from pre-malignancy to full-blown breast cancer. We expect that this new molecular marker will allow us to improve diagnostic accuracy for individual patients, enhancing both the prognostic predictions as well as the prediction of drug responsiveness for a given patient. Our unpublished preliminary results show that CAPER is highly expressed in malignant breast cancer cell lines, such as MCF7 cells, but fails to be expressed in ?normal? immortalized cell lines, such as MCF10A cells.
Ductal Carcinoma In Situ (DCIS), also known as mammary intraepithelial neoplasia (MIN), is considered a pre-malignant lesion that may or may not progress to full-blown breast cancer. Due to the use of mammography screening, DCIS now represents between ~20-30% of new breast cancer cases. However, the factors that govern the progression of DCIS lesions remain unknown, but involve the onset of an invasive growth phenotype. Because of this uncertainty, patients with a diagnosis of DCIS now undergo breast-conserving surgery, radiation therapy, and adjuvant therapy with tamoxifen, an anti-estrogen. Thus, new diagnostic markers are needed to determine which DCIS lesions are prone to progression.