Investigadores University of Zurich and IBM Research examined by mass spectrometry cellular composition of 144 breast tumors and 50 control samples tissue, establishing in the process the first atlas describing the heterogeneity of this type of cancer.
The analysis of the expression pattern of 73 proteins in 26 million cells shows that the tumors present individual traits, such as phenotypic abnormalities and dominances. Johanna Wagner, director of the study, says that the new findings invalidate the previous notion, according to which the greatest diversity of tumors is associated with increased aggression.
In fact, the researcher continues, the most aggressive tumors are dominated by a single cell type that often has important abnormalities. The study has also revealed the existence of specific relationships between tumor cells and immune, which together results in a related immunosuppression and poor prognosis.
In this regard, researchers have discovered that in a group of patients who had an accumulation of inactive immune cells, these could be activated by immunotherapy, although initially this therapeutic option had been ruled out.
That is why the researchers advocate a comprehensive analysis of the tumor ecosystem to improve the accuracy of therapy. From Distefar we support breast cancer research, which is the second most frequent cause of cancer death in women. It is estimated that this year there will be some 42,260 deaths (41,760 women and 500 men) due to breast cancer.