Molecular Detection of Circulating Cancer Cells for Early Diagnosis of Breast Cancer
Final rept. 1 Oct 2000-30 Sep 2002
MAYO CLINIC ROCHESTER MN
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Early detection is the most significant means for reducing the morbidity and mortality due to breast cancer. in addition to mammography and physical examination, sensitive molecular techniques may also be used to detect early stage breast cancer. Evidence suggests that breast cancer cells are released into the circulation at an early stage of the disease 1. A recent study reported that 95 of early stage breast cancer patients had circulating cells that could be detected immunohistochemically with a nonspecific epithelial antibody 2. In addition, mammaglobin, the most breast-specific gene known, was detected in circulating tumor cells in the blood from 20 of 32 metastatic breast cancer patients 3. These intriguing results clearly demand validation with studies that can sensitively and specifically detect circulating breast cancer cells. We hypothesize that sensitive molecular detection of cancer cells in peripheral blood using novel breast-specific genes will provide a screening test that can be used independently or in concert with mammography and physical examination to more accurately detect early stage breast cancer.
- Genetic Engineering and Molecular Biology
- Anatomy and Physiology
- Medicine and Medical Research