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Jun 24, 2009

Researchers Find Prognostic Marker for Breast Cancer in Stroma

  • Researchers from Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm identified a stromal marker for breast cancer progression. They found that stromal PDGFßR expression in premenopausal patients was linked to a negative prognosis. The findings will appear in the July issue of the American Journal of Pathology in a paper called “Prognostic Significance of Stromal PDGF ß-Receptor Expression in Human Breast Cancer.”

    Platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) receptors are involved in multiple stages of cancer cell growth. The contribution of PDGFR expression in the stroma of the tumor, however, remains unclear, according to the Karolinska group. 

    To study this, the team characterized PDGFR expression in stroma of various tumors including colon, ovarian, prostate, lung, and breast cancers as well as lymphoma. They found highly variable PDGFR expression in solid tumors, with colon and prostate tumors expressing the highest stromal levels of one type of PDGFR, PDGFßR. In breast cancer, stromal PDGFßR expression in premenopausal patients correlated with negative prognosis.

    This data highlights the importance of examining stromal as well as malignant cell expression of PDGF receptors in disease prognosis, the investigators point out.

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Scientifically Studying Ecstasy

MDMA (commonly known as the empathogen “ecstasy”) is classified as a Schedule 1 drug, which is reserved for compounds with no accepted medical use and a high abuse potential. Two researchers from Stanford, however, call for a rigorous scientific exploration of MDMA's effects to identify precisely how the drug works, the data from which could be used to develop therapeutic compounds.

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