Researchers at Aberdeen University, United Kingdom, have discovered a role for an orphan receptor in metastatic breast cancer. The expression level of this receptor appears to be correlated with the invasiveness and metastatic potential of breast cancer cells, and over-expression of the receptor increases the invasiveness of tumour cells. They say the receptor may provide a biomarker for determining the likelihood of metastasis of breast cancers.
In a model for rate of metastasis, agonists of the receptor either act as chemotactic factors or stimulate migration of human breast cancer cell lines, whereas antagonists inhibit migration of these cells towards a chemo-attractant. The receptor is therefore a potential target for therapies aimed at preventing metastasis. A screening assay is being developed for functional antagonists of the receptor.
The university has filed a patent on the discovery and is seeking collaboration and/or licensing partner.
This finding could provide a biomarker for the metastatic potential of breast cancers and form the basis for a diagnostic test for biopsied breast cancer tissue. There is also the potential to develop drugs based on antagonists of the receptor.
For more information, see the project’s page at: http://www.university-technology.com/details/novel-target-for-metastatic-breast-cancer