Feature | October 11, 2013

Good Cholesterol May Increase Breast Cancer Risk

A protein receptor for HDL may make breast cancer more aggressive and offer a new target for treating the disease

October 11, 2013 — High levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) have been linked to increased breast cancer risks and enhanced cancer aggressiveness in animal experiments.

A team of researchers led by Philippe Frank, Ph.D., a cancer biologist in the department of biochemistry and molecular biology, Thomas Jefferson University, has shown that an HDL receptor found on breast cancer cells may be responsible for this effect, proposing a new molecular target that could help treat the disease.

"If we can block the activity of the HDL receptor in breast cancer, we may be able to limit the harmful effects of HDL while maintaining levels that are beneficial for blood vessels," said Frank.

The work was published in the journal Breast Cancer Research.

To study the effect of HDL on cancer cells at the molecular level, Frank and colleagues exposed breast cancer cell lines to HDL and noticed that signaling pathways involved in cancer progression were activated, and that the cells began to migrate in an experimental model mimicking metastasis.

The researchers then limited the expression of the HDL receptor SR-BI in the cells using silencing ribonucleic acid (RNA) to reduce the receptor’s levels. This reduced the activities of the signaling pathways that promote tumor progression. In addition, cells with fewer SR-BI receptors displayed reduced proliferation rates and migratory abilities than cells with normal SR-BI levels. Most importantly, reduced SR-BI levels were associated with reduced tumor formation in a mouse model of tumorigenesis. The researchers then blocked the SR-BI receptor in a breast cancer cell line with a drug called BLT-1 and noticed reduced proliferation and signaling via proteins linked to tumor formation.

This study supports the idea that HDL plays a role in the development of aggressive breast cancers and that inhibiting its function via SR-BI in breast cancer cells may stall cancer growth.

Additional studies will be needed to develop more specific drugs to inhibit SR-BI. "Also, we need to understand what levels of cholesterol are required by the tumor before trying to reduce or modify lipid levels in cancer patients," said Frank. “We hope this study will lead to the development of new drugs targeting SR-BI or cholesterol metabolism and eventually preventing tumor progression.”

For more information: www.jefferson.edu, www.breast-cancer-research.com

Related Content

Clinical Trial Testing Topical Gel to Reduce Breast Density
News | Breast Density | June 19, 2018
Women with dense breast tissue soon might be adding a new product to their skincare routine to help them fight breast...
New Prostate Cancer Radiotherapy Technique Aims to Preserve Sexual Function
News | Radiation Therapy | June 18, 2018
A multicenter clinical trial being led by UT Southwestern physicians is testing a technique for sparing nerve bundles...
Report Finds Identifying Patients for Lung Cancer Screening Not So Simple
News | Lung Cancer | June 18, 2018
New findings in the current issue of The American Journal of Managed Care suggest that getting the right patients to...
California Women In Favor of Extending State's Breast Density Inform Law
News | Breast Density | June 15, 2018
A recent survey of California women found that 95 percent of respondents want the state’s breast density inform law to...
PET/CT Changes Care for 59 Percent of Suspected Recurrent Prostate Cancer Cases
News | Prostate Cancer | June 13, 2018
A recently presented investigational clinical trial evaluated the impact of 18F fluciclovine positron emission...
Accuray TomoTherapy System Beneficial in Two Total Body Irradiation Studies
News | Radiation Therapy | June 13, 2018
Recently published data from two new studies demonstrate the benefits of Accuray’s TomoTherapy System in the delivery...
Women More Likely to Use Other Preventive Health Services Following Mammography
News | Mammography | June 13, 2018
Medicare beneficiaries who undergo breast cancer screening with mammography are more likely than unscreened women to...
Reduced hippocampal volume on MRI

This figure shows reduced hippocampal volume over the course of 6 years as seen on progressive volumetric analysis and also coronal MRI evaluations (arrows).Progressive volume loss in the mesial temporal lobe on MRI is a characteristic imaging feature of AD. This patient was a case of Alzheimer’s Dementia.

 

News | Neuro Imaging | June 12, 2018
According to a UCLA Medical Center study, a new technology shows the potential to help doctors better determine when...
How AI and Deep Learning Will Enable Cancer Diagnosis Via Ultrasound

The red outline shows the manually segmented boundary of a carcinoma, while the deep learning-predicted boundaries are shown in blue, green and cyan. Copyright 2018 Kumar et al. under Creative Commons Attribution License.

News | Ultrasound Imaging | June 12, 2018 | Tony Kontzer
June 12, 2018 — Viksit Kumar didn’t know his mother had...
High Prevalence of Atherosclerosis Found in Lower Risk Patients
News | Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) | June 08, 2018
Whole-body magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) found a surprisingly high prevalence of atherosclerosis in people...
Overlay Init