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Identification of Genetic Markers of the Invasive Phenotype in Human Breast Cancer

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Annual rept. 1 Sep 1999- 1 Sep 2000

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Invasion is a crucial component of the complex process of metastasis that marks the transition of breast cancer from local to life threatening disease. The approach we have taken to identify the molecular pathology underlying the onset of invasion, is to apply a combined microdissection and molecular approaches to a unique tissue bank resource. This enables us to isolate mRNA and directly compare gene expression profiles from pathologically defined regions of DCIS and early invasive tumor cells. We have microdissected and identified a number of genes that show differential expression between DCIS and invasive components in 5 tumors by subtraction hybridization and 8 tumors by membrane filter cDNA A array techniques. We have also pursued 2 specific genes, previously unexplored in relation to breast cancer, that show patterns of differential expression consistent with a role in the process of invasion - Psoriasin S100A7 and Lumican, a small leucine-rich proteoglycan. We conclude that our approach is productive in identifying novel genes that are previously unexplored in relation to early breast tumor progression and believe that these may provide markers of progression to invasive disease.

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  • Genetic Engineering and Molecular Biology
  • Medicine and Medical Research

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