Public Release: 

Sylvester researchers identify receptor to slow breast cancer metastasis

University of Miami Miller School of Medicine

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IMAGE: RAGE inhibition in mice prevents metastasis of human breast cancer cells (stained brown) to lung and other tissues. view more

Credit: Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center

MIAMI, October 3, 2016 -- In a research study published in the journal Oncogene, scientists from Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine showed that by therapeutically targeting the receptor for advanced glycation end-products (RAGE) in breast cancer cells, they decreased tumor growth, reduced tumor angiogenesis and recruitment of inflammatory cells, and dramatically decreased metastasis to the lung and the liver.

"RAGE is highly expressed in various cancers and is correlated with poorer outcome in breast and other cancers," said Barry I. Hudson, Ph.D., cancer researcher at Sylvester, assistant professor of medicine at the Miller School, and corresponding author of the study. "In this study, we tested the role of targeting RAGE by multiple approaches in the tumor and tumor microenvironment, to inhibit the metastatic process."

Over the past few years, Hudson and his team have found that blocking RAGE signaling may be an attractive therapeutic target for reducing tumorigenesis and metastasis. Their work has demonstrated that blocking RAGE signaling results in reducing tumor growth and metastasis. Furthermore, they have shown activation of RAGE signaling results in profound changes in cellular properties strongly associated with the metastatic process including increased cell migration and invasion, proliferation, and resistance to apoptosis.

"The results of the study demonstrate that RAGE drives tumor progression and metastasis through distinct tumor cell mechanisms, both intrinsic and extrinsic," said Hudson. "This may represent a novel and therapeutically viable approach for treating a variety of metastatic cancers, not just breast cancer."

"This is an extraordinary step in better understanding how and why breast cancer spreads," said Judy Salerno, M.D., M.S., president and CEO of Susan G. Komen, which provided a Career Catalyst Research Grant to Hudson for this research. "Dr. Hudson's work has the potential to save the lives of women and men battling metastatic disease, and we at Komen are proud to have helped launch his promising career in breast cancer research."

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This research was also supported by American Cancer Society Institutional Research Grant #98-277-10.

About Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center

Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, part of UHealth - the University of Miami Health System and the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, is among the nation's leading cancer centers and South Florida's only Cancer Center of Excellence. A 2015 study by Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, published in The Journal of the American Medical Association, showed that cancer patients treated at Sylvester have a 10 percent higher chance of survival than those treated at nearly any other cancer center in the nation. With the combined strength of more than 120 cancer researchers and 130 cancer specialists, Sylvester discovers, develops and delivers more targeted therapies, providing the next generation of cancer clinical care - precision cancer medicine - to each patient. Our comprehensive diagnostics, coupled with teams of scientific and clinical experts who specialize in just one type of cancer, enable us to better understand each patient's individual cancer and develop treatments that target the cells and genes driving the cancer's growth and survival, leading to better outcomes. At Sylvester, patients have access to more treatment options and more cancer clinical trials than most hospitals in the southeastern United States. To better serve current and future patients, Sylvester has a network of conveniently located outpatient treatment facilities in Miami, Kendall, Hollywood, Plantation, Deerfield Beach and Coral Springs, with plans to open in Coral Gables in 2016. For more information, visit sylvester.org.

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