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Provista Blog > How Do the  “Hallmarks of Cancer” Impact Breast Cancer?

Provista Blog

How Do the  “Hallmarks of Cancer” Impact Breast Cancer?

Posted by Provista Diagnostics on July 25, 2017

Proteins play many critical roles in the body, including acting as precursors for metabolic reactions, DNA replication and intracellular and extracellular communication. The proteom is the entire set of proteins produced or modified by an organizm or system. As a cell transforms from "non-diseased" (benign breast lesions) to "diseased" (invasive breast cancer), distinct changes occur that could act as early warning signals of breast cancer and be potentially detected through biomarkers.

Benign tumors are well-contained and rarely life-threatening, while invasive/metastatic tumors are capable of forming new tumors outside the primary site and are frequently life-threatening. Before invasive cancers can sustain their own growth and invade other parts of the body, multiple cellular pathways must be disrupted. 

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In 2000 and 2011, Douglas Hanahan & Robert A Weinberg published two seminal articles titled “Hallmarks of Cancer," published in Cell. These articles hypothesized that all tumor cells need to possess 10 capabilities in order to transform into invasive cancer cells.

10 Hallmarks of Cancer

Evading Growth Suppressors

Avoiding Immune Destruction

Deregulating Cellular Energetics

Tumor-Promoting Inflammation

Genome Instability & Mutation

Inducing Angiogenesis

Activating Invastion & Metastasis

Resisting Cell Death

Enabling Replicative Immortality

Sustaining Proliferative Signaling


 Identifying proteins involved w. each of the hallmarks allows isolation & measurement of proteins to determine relationships w. cancer growthTweet: Identifying proteins involved w each of the hallmarks allows isolation & measurement of proteins to determine relationships w cancer growth

So, what does this have to do with advancing breast cancer detection?

  • Each of these “hallmarks of cancer” involves cellular pathways mitigated by numerous proteins.

  • By identifying proteins involved with each of the hallmarks, we can isolate and measure these proteins and determine their relationship with breast cancer development.

  • Proteins constantly change as a consequence of disease and therefore provide insight into biological processes associated with cancer development

  • Proteomic tests detect the present of absence of disease related biomarkers in real time, based on the physiological state of the patient

  • An inherent advantage proteomics is that a protein itself is the biological endpoint that is responsible for cellular function

The Power of Proteins in Breast Cancer Detection

A diagnostic tool that utilizes proteomic technology to monitored these “Hallmarks of Cancer” could identify changes in patterns or combinations of protein signatures in the blood, specific to a breast cancer. Thus, a tool of this nature, if used in conjunction with imaging, would be able to diagnose patients with breast cancer earlier and more accurately.

Want to read a full guide to relating the hallmarks of cancer relate to breast cancer detection and utilizing protein biomarkers in a liquid biopsy? Download it here


What Are Breast Cancer Protein Biomarkers?
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Provista Diagnostics

At Provista Diagnostics, our mission is to develop world-class diagnostic tests for indications in breast and gynecologic cancers. As a leading diagnostics company, our aim is to create, produce and market innovative solutions for unmet clinical needs. Our products and services help to diagnose diseases and inform better clinical decisions, thus enhancing women’s health and quality of life. We do this in a responsible and ethical manner with a commitment to excellence in every aspect of our business.