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1.  Modulation of the BRCA1 protein and induction of apoptosis in triple negative breast cancer cell lines by the polyphenolic compound curcumin 
In the current study, we sought to examine the effects of curcumin in a specific type of breast cancer called triple negative breast cancer. These cancers lack expression of the estrogen and progesterone receptors and do not over-express HER2. Current treatment for triple negative breast cancers is limited to cytotoxic chemotherapy, and upon relapse, there are not any therapies currently available. We demonstrate here that the bioactive food compound curcumin induces DNA damage in triple negative breast cancer cells in association with phosphorylation, increased expression, and cytoplasmic retention of the BRCA1 protein. In addition, curcumin promotes apoptosis and prevents anchorage-independent growth and migration of triple negative breast cancer cells. Apoptosis and BRCA1 modulation were not observed in non-transformed mammary epithelial cells, suggesting curcumin may have limited non-specific toxicity. This study suggests that curcumin and potentially curcumin analogues should be tested further in the context of triple negative breast cancer. These results are novel, having never been previously reported, and suggest that curcumin could provide a novel, non-toxic therapy, which could lead to improved survival for patients with triple negative breast cancer. Curcumin should be studied further in this subset of breast cancer patients, for whom treatment options are severely limited.
PMCID: PMC2756684  PMID: 19809577
mammary carcinoma; triple negative; curcumin; DNA damage; BRCA1
2.  Cost-Effective Screening for Breast Cancer Worldwide: Current State and Future Directions 
Affordability of healthcare is highly limited by its skyrocketing cost. Access to screening and diagnostic medical equipment and medicine in developing countries is inadequate for the majority of the population. There is a tremendous worldwide need to detect breast cancer at its earliest stage. These needs must be balanced by the ability of countries to provide breast cancer screening technology to their populations. We reviewed the diagnostic accuracy, procedure cost and cost-effectiveness of currently available technique for breast screening and diagnosis including clinical breast examination mammography, ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging, biopsy and a new modality for cancer diagnostics termed elasticity imaging that has emerged in the last decade. Clinical results demonstrate that elasticity imaging even in its simplest and least sophisticated versions, like tactile imaging, has significant diagnostic potential comparable and exceeding that of conventional imaging techniques. In view of many countries with limited resources, effective yet less expensive modes of screening must be considered worldwide. The tactile imaging is one method that has the potential to provide cost-effective breast cancer screening and diagnostics.
PMCID: PMC2613364  PMID: 19578481
breast cancer; screening; cost-effectiveness; elastography
3.  Molecular targets of breast cancer: AKTing in concert 
Despite significant advancement in the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer, many patients succumb to this disease. The elucidation of aberrant signaling pathways that lead to breast cancer should help develop more effective therapeutic strategies. The Akt signaling pathway plays an important role in the development and progression of breast cancer. Overexpression/activation of Akt has been associated with poor prognosis and resistance to hormonal and chemotherapy. Although mutations in Akt are rare in breast cancer, the activity of Akt is regulated by hormones, growth factors, growth factor receptors, oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes that are often deregulated in breast cancer. The objective of this commentary is to discuss recent literature on how activation of Akt by various signaling pathways contributes to breast cancer and confers resistance to current therapy.
PMCID: PMC2678835  PMID: 19430575
Akt; PTEN; mTOR; breast cancer therapy

Results 1-3 (3)