Numb5 & Numb6 promote Invasive Behavior of Breast Cancer by Inducing Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition
Breast cancer is the most common neoplastic disease worldwide and the number one cause of cancerrelated death among non-smoking women in the USA (1-2). Tumor invasion and metastasis are the major causes of cancer mortality. Detection and treatment of metastatic breast cancer requires a better understanding of the mechanisms that cause breast tumor cells to become invasive.
Treatment of metastatic breast cancer generally focuses on relieving symptoms and extending a patient’s life. To improve treatment outcomes and clinical decision-making, identification of novel pro-invasive protein targets is necessary. Despite strong interest in such biomarkers, the number of clinical assays available in oncology remains very small and rapid appraisal of new candidate prognostic and predictive markers in breast cancer is critical. This research project is based on the discovery of novel proteins, Numb5 and Numb6, which are produced in breast cancer, but not normal breast tissue. Our preliminary studies show that Numb5 and Numb6 can change the behavior of human breast cancer cells into a more malignant tumor type.
Our goal is to study how Numb5 and Numb6 change breast cancer cell behavior, and screen cases of human breast cancer to determine a relationship of Numb5 and Numb6 to the malignant phenotype. Our project addresses Numb5 and Numb6 as both novel therapeutic and diagnostic targets in human breast cancer.