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Breast Cancer

explanatory Essay
850 words
850 words
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Breast cancer is one of the most widespread cancers among women worldwide. In the US, it is the most common, and the leading cause of cancer related deaths among women between 45 – 64 years of age (Clegg et al., 2002; Ward et al., 2008). Early detection and improved treatment procedures have resulted in gradual decline in the number of deaths caused by the disease since 1990. Nevertheless, in 2009, the estimated death toll for the disease was 40,170 (American Cancer Society, 2009). The gravity of the disease therefore demands further research towards its early diagnosis, and for evaluating the prognosis of its course.

Breast cancer is a heterogeneous disease characterized by the complex interplay of molecular, genetic and physiological factors. Identification of some common characteristics, such as c-erb-b2/her-2 neu oncogene expression (Jimenez et al., 2000; Kallioniemi et al., 1991), mutations in the BRCA-1 (Miki et al., 1994; Welcsh et al., 2002), BRCA-2 genes (Venkitaraman, 2002), as well as ER/PR status (Ferno et al., 1990; Warnberg et al., 2001; Xu et al., 2003); have provided approaches for intervention. However, the totality of the molecular factors that contribute to the onset and progression of breast cancer remains uncertain. Continuing investigation into the heterogeneous tumor microenvironment is important not only in identifying additional molecular pathways that are involved in the onset and progression of the disease, but also to guide possible therapeutic approaches.

Cancer is characterized by several distinct features including uncontrolled cell division, resistance to growth inhibitors, evasion of apoptosis, invasion of distant tissues, ability to induce angiogenesis and immortality (Hanahan and Wei...

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...breast cancer, has led us to hypothesize that the cPLA2 isozymes α, β and γ may play significant roles in breast cancer, and that a distinctive variation in the levels in one or all of the isozymes in normal and transformed breast cancer cells may exist. Preliminary results from the lab indicated mRNA expression of cPLA2β and cPLA2γ in the breast cancer cell line MCF-7. However those experiments left it uncertain if cPLA2α mRNA was expressed in these cells.

The present studies were undertaken to study the protein level expression of the cPLA2 isozymes, α, β and γ in the breast cancer cell lines MDA-MB-231 and MCF-7, and in the immortalized non tumorigenic human breast cell line MCF-10A. Surgically removed cancerous human breast tissue was screened for the protein expression level of the cPLA2 isozymes, and for comparison with the results from the cell lines.

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that breast cancer is one of the most widespread cancers among women worldwide. early detection and improved treatment procedures have resulted in gradual decline in the number of deaths caused by the disease since 1990.
  • Explains that breast cancer is a heterogeneous disease characterized by the complex interplay of molecular, genetic and physiological factors.
  • Explains that cancer is characterized by uncontrolled cell division, resistance to growth inhibitors, evasion of apoptosis, invasion of distant tissues, ability to induce angiogenesis and immortality.
  • Explains the mechanism leading to pain and inflammation is the arachidonic acid pathway.
  • Explains that phospholipases a2 catalyze the hydrolysis of the sn-2 bond of cellular glycerophospholipids, leading to the production of free arachidonic acid.
  • Explains that the present studies were undertaken to study the protein level expression of the cpla2 isozymes in the breast cancer cell lines mda-mb-231 and mcf-7, and immortalized non-tumorigenic human breast cells.
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