Into the Future: Protein Predicts Breast Cancer Prognosis

In the news (but not ready for prime time): Researchers have identified a protein that they believe may aid in the determination of breast cancer prognosis. Using bioinformati techniques, investigators showed that the levels of expression of 1,200 genes that are directly controlled by the enzyme EZH2 correlate with breast cancer aggressiveness.

Investigators generated breast cancer cells in which they could tamp down EZH2 expression (using RNA inhibition). Inhibiting EZH2 expression reactivated downstream genes, leading to a less aggressive cancer phenotype.

My take: While EZH2 overexpression appears to be associated with a worse prognosis in prostate, endometrial, and melanoma cancers, much work remains to be done before we add this to our current armamentarium for risk projection.

The small print: The material presented herein is informational only, and is not designed to provide specific guidance for an individual. Please check with a valued health care provider with any questions or concerns. As for me, I am a Harvard- , Yale- and UPenn-educated radiation oncologist, and I practice in the Seattle, WA (USA) area. I feel genuinely privileged to be able to share with you. If you enjoyed today’s offering, please consider clicking the follow button at the bottom of this page.

Available now: Understand Colon Cancer in 60 Minutes; Understand Brain Glioma in 60 Minutes. Both can be found at the Apple Ibooks store. Coming Soon for iPad:  Understand Breast Cancer in 60 Minutes; Understand Colon Cancer in 60 Minuteable now: Understand Colon Cancer in 60 Minutes; Understand Brain Glioma in 60 Minutes. Thank you.

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Harvard AB Yale MD UPenn Radiation Oncology Radiation Oncologist, Seattle area

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