The ADAMTS genes are recent additions to a large family known as the metalloproteinases many of which can break down tissues and have therefore been linked with tumour metastasis, or spread, through the body. However, the ADAMTS group had not previously been linked to the development of breast cancer. These new findings suggest they could become robust 'markers', predicting disease outcome in breast cancer patients and identifying those patients most at risk of recurrence of the disease.
Funded by Breast Cancer Campaign, the innovative three-year study has been undertaken by Dr Sarah Porter and Prof Dylan Edwards of UEA's School of Biological Sciences, using tissue samples from patients at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital and a medical centre in Nijmegen in The Netherlands. The findings have just been published in the International Journal of Cancer.
"We are beginning to understand how genes contribute to breast cancer development and I am confident this work will ultimately prove valuable for both diagnosis and treatment of the disease," said Prof Edwards.
Pamela Goldberg, Breast Cancer Campaign chief executive, said: "The spread of breast cancer around the body is the single most important factor in breast cancer mortality. The findings of this research will play a major role in improving the future of breast cancer treatment which will focus on drug regimes tailored to the individual patient."
Earlier published work by Dr Porter and Prof Edwards showed that 11 of the 19 ADAMTS genes in humans are significantly altered as breast cancer develops. Their latest research now focuses on two of the genes, ADAMTS8 and ADAMTS15, and has shown th
Contact: Simon Dunford
University of East Anglia