Despite increased awareness of breast cancer and its prevalence, predicting patient outcome is remains difficult. Although the likelihood of metastasis is thought to be linked to the aggressiveness, growth, and size of the primary neoplasm, this is not always the case. There are many small breast cancers with a highly aggressive behavior and discouraging outcome that remain undertreated because there is no marker capable of identifying them. RhoC-GTPase is a member of the Ras-superfamily of small guanosine triphosphatases (GTPases), whose activation leads to assembly of the actin-myosin contractile filaments into focal adhesion complexes that lead to cell polarity and facilitate motility. In addition, overexpression of RhoC has been shown to result in a highly motile and invasive phenotype that recapitulates the most lethal form of locally advanced breast cancer, inflammatory breast cancer.
Researchers at the University of Michigan have designed and produced a novel antibody to the RhoC GTPase protein that is not cross-reactive with any other members of the Rho family. RhoC is expressed in most tissues normally, but is over-expressed in melanoma, and in pancreatic and inflammatory breast cancers. Using this antibody, RhoC was shown to have high specificity in detecting invasive carcinomas with metastatic potential, including in invasive carcinomas smaller than 1 cm.
Applications and Advantages
- Diagnostics for invasive carcinomas with metastatic potential
- May be relevant for various types of cancers