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GEN News Highlights : Jun 24, 2009

Researchers Find Prognostic Marker for Breast Cancer in Stroma

Paper published in the American Journal of Pathology investigated PDGFßR.

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.