Up to 20 percent of breast cancers aretriple negative breast cancer (TNBC), an aggressive form of the disease with few treatment options. In looking for genes that promote TNBC metastasis and might be knocked out as a treatment strategy, Harry Ostrer, M.D., and colleagues from Einstein and Montefiore identified Otoconin 90 (OC90)—a gene normally expressed in the ear’s cochlea to form the little calcium stones that help to control equilibrium. But the gene has been repurposed and over-expressed in TNBC as well as prostate and lung cancers to serve a novel and pernicious function. In a cohort of TNBC patients, the researchers found that the altered expression of three genes associated with OC90 overexpression —HMGA2, POLE2 and TRIB3—predicts a greater likelihood that the patients will die from the disease. The findings were published online on February 14 in PLOS ONE. Dr. Ostrer is professor of pathology and of pediatrics at Einstein.
Posted on: Wednesday, February 27, 2019