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ANXA9: A Therapeutic Target and Predictive Marker for Early Detection of Aggressive Breast Cancer JIB-2371

Joe Gray and his research team at Berkeley Lab have found a new candidate gene—Annexin A9 (ANXA9)––to enhance multigene assays for detecting invasive breast cancer. In a five-year study of patients with breast cancers, the Berkeley Lab researchers examined tissue samples and found that ANXA9 expressed abnormally high levels of protein in approximately half of the patients. This indicates a significant relationship between ANXA9 and aggressive breast cancers. Therefore, ANXA9 can be used as a prognostic marker in the early identification of aggressive forms of breast cancer. In addition, the researchers demonstrated that ANXA9 suppresses apoptosis (programmed cell death), a process in which abnormal cells such as cancer cells self-destruct. When ANXA9 is silenced, apoptosis is induced, which decreases breast cancer cell proliferation and may, therefore, prevent breast cancer tumors from growing and spreading to other tissues. Given this potential, the Berkeley Lab invention promises to increase the chances of survival among patients who are resistant to standard chemotherapy. Currently, breast cancer patients may be effectively diagnosed and treated at the genomic level through multigene assays, a method for identifying patients whose tumors test positive for genes associated with aggressive breast cancers. Prior to the Berkeley Lab invention, however, the accuracy of multigene assays had been limited by the small number of genes assayed.
Prevents aggressive breast cancers from metastasizing - Offers early detection of aggressive breast cancers - May increase survival rates of breast cancer patients - May improve response to chemotherapy drugs
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Patent Status: 
US Patent Application # 12/412,304 available at www.uspto.gov. Available for licensing or collaborative research. To learn more about licensing a technology from LBNL see http://www.lbl.gov/Tech-Transfer/licensing/index.html.
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