The use of validated antibodies are primordial for Breast Cancer research. Let’s see why, and which were the most popular ones in 2015.
Breast cancer arises in cell units whose function is to secrete milk, ducto-lobular breast units, mainly in women, with 89 cases per 100 000 (1). 5 to 10% of these cancers have an inherited genetic origin; 85-90% of cases (known as sporadic or non-hereditary) have environmental origins as yet often unidentified. A significant proportion of sporadic breast cancers is induced by hormonal treatment in women with a predisposition to this type of cancer. Some lifestyle choices (alcohol, trans fats, obesity, lack of exercise) or gynecological (late first pregnancy, not breastfeeding, etc.) also promote cancer.
If detected at an early stage, this cancer can be cured in 9 cases out of 10. Nevertheless, one of the difficulties of curing this disease is to identify the biological characteristics of each patient’s tumor.
The usual first elements to further characterize breast cancer are the HER2 expression level and the estrogen & progesterone status levels. HER2 is a protein naturally present in the organism. This transmembrane receptor is involved in the regulation of cell proliferation. When a cell becomes cancerous, it may happen that the number of HER2 receptors on its surface increases abnormally. This test is now routinely analysed in Cancer centers to makes it possible to know if patients can benefit from anti-HER2 targeted therapy.
Another biomarker used in breast cancer is the assessment of proliferation markers like Ki67. Ki67 is a protein present in the nucleus of dividing cells, but which is absent in the other cell life phases. The labeling index of Ki-67 indicates the percentage of cells bearing this protein. The subsequent analysis of the proportion of proliferative cells participate in the evaluation of the proliferation level of the tumor. The more proliferative the tumours are, the faster the tumour growth will be, in association with poor prognosis. In parallel, the detection of well-known markers such as MUC1 is assessed too. (1) This molecule is localized on the cell surface in 70% of the deadliest types of cancer and in particular breast cancer. Indeed, MUC1 is present in 90% of so-called triple-negative breast cancers, insensitive to hormone treatment.
Research projects have also established connections between mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes and some familial breast & ovarian carcinomas. (2) BRCA1 and BRCA2 are now genes of susceptibility to breast cancer and ovarian cancers. When mutated, abnormal growth of breast and ovarian cells is observed together with a tendency to develop cancers. In the general population, there is approximately one person out of 1,000 that has mutations in these genes.
Here are the 7 most popular validated antibodies in 2015 used by scientists in breast cancer research:
- Estrogen Receptor alpha antibody: a Rabbit Polyclonal antibody to Estrogen Receptor alpha
- P-Estrogen Receptor alpha (Phospho Ser106) antibody: a Rabbit Polyclonal antibody to Estrogen Receptor alpha (Phospho Ser106)
- Progesterone Receptor antibody [N1], N-term: a Rabbit polyclonal antibody to Progesterone receptor
- KI67 antibody [SP6]: a Rabbit monoclonal (clone SP6 to Ki67 – Proliferation Marker
- MUC1 antibody: a Rabbit polyclonal to MUC1
- BRCA1 antibody: a Mouse polyclonal antiserum to BRCA1
- BRCA2 antibody: a Mouse monoclonal antibody to BRCA2 (clone 3E6)
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