VANCOUVER, Oct. 28 /CNW Telbec/ - Scientists from the BC Cancer Agency
and Pfizer Oncology have published the first results of their
three-year research collaboration.
The paper, published in the journal Modern Pathology, analyzed the expression of the P-cadherin protein in breast cancer.
P-cadherin is involved in controlling the development and function of
the normal mammary gland, but may also play a role in breast cancer (a
number of small-scale studies had suggested that high levels of the
P-cadherin protein are associated with poor survival in breast cancer
The research team took advantage of a unique resource at the BC Cancer
Agency—a collection of 3,992 breast tumor samples associated with
anonymized clinical information about each patient—to undertake the
largest study to date of P-cadherin expression in breast cancer. The
large scale of this tissue collection allowed the team to confirm that
P-cadherin expression is associated with poor overall and
disease-specific survival in breast cancer patients. The scientists
also determined that this relationship occurs because P-cadherin is
found predominantly in two of the most aggressive forms of breast
cancer, HER2 and core basal.
"Our study shows for the first time, and definitively in a large tissue
microarray series, that P-cadherin expression is a strong prognostic
factor in breast cancer," explains the study's lead author, Dr. Gulisa
Turashvili of the BC Cancer Agency. "However, the prognostic
association is not independent of tumour subtype and other variables;
P-cadherin expression is strongly associated with HER2-positive and
basal-type carcinomas, two of the five distinct molecular subtypes of
breast cancer. This has important implications for the use of
P-cadherin as a subtype marker and therapeutic target."
"These results help clarify the relationship of P-cadherin expression
and survival in breast cancer patients and may motivate targeting
anti-p-cad therapy as part of a precision medicine strategy," says Paul
Rejto, Director, Pfizer R&D Oncology. "This partnership between Pfizer
and the BC Cancer Agency has proven to deliver high-quality science
that we are using to potentially help patients in the future."
The collaboration between Pfizer Oncology and the BC Cancer Agency began
in 2009, with the aim of leveraging each partner's unique expertise and
resources to identify new biomarkers and treatment targets for breast
and ovarian cancer.
"These partnerships highlight the importance of private-public
collaborations and ensure that local Canadian researchers have the
support they need to conduct innovative work in the area of oncology,"
highlights Richard Fajzel, General Manager, Oncolgy Business Unit at
The P-cadherin study highlights the benefits of this collaborative
approach. Pfizer helped to fund the study, and their scientists were
involved in the analysis of the data, which was generated and analyzed
at the BC Cancer Agency.
Dr. Sam Aparicio, lead investigator on the P-cadherin study and Nan and
Lorraine Robertson Breast Cancer Chair at the BC Cancer Agency and
University of British Columbia, said, "We are excited to see the first
result from our collaborative work with Pfizer reach fruition with the
potential for a positive impact on the development of new medicines for
breast cancer patients."
About the BC Cancer Agency
The BC Cancer Agency, an agency of the Provincial Health Services
Authority, is committed to reducing the incidence of cancer, reducing
the mortality from cancer, and improving the quality of life of those
living with cancer. It provides a comprehensive cancer control program
for the people of British Columbia by working with community partners
to deliver a range of oncology services, including prevention, early
detection, diagnosis and treatment, research, education, supportive
care, rehabilitation, and palliative care. The BC Cancer Foundation
raises funds to support research and enhancements to patient care at
the BC Cancer Agency. For more information about the BC Cancer Agency,
please visit href="http://www.bccancer.bc.ca/">www.bccancer.bc.ca
About Pfizer Oncology
Pfizer Oncology is committed to the discovery, investigation and
development of innovative treatment options to improve the outlook for
cancer patients worldwide. This independent business unit within
Pfizer Inc. was established to accelerate innovation while still
drawing on the expertise and resources of the world's largest
research-based pharmaceutical company. As science in oncology continues
to evolve, Pfizer is pursuing research centered around a personalized
approach to cancer treatment and tailoring therapy based on the
molecular and/or biologic make-up of the disease.
Pfizer Oncology has a robust pipeline that consists of 22 biologics and
small molecules in development, including several first-in-class
compounds. In addition Pfizer Oncology has over 200 clinical trials
currently running, including 14 phase III trials, in some of the most
prevalent and difficult-to-treat cancers such as Chronic Myelogenous
Leukemia, Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma, lung, breast, and renal cell.
Pfizer Oncology works collaboratively with academic institutions,
individual researchers, cooperative research groups, governments, and
licensing partners to further its extensive research and development
program. In British Columbia Pfizer has a 3-year research
collaboration with the BC Cancer Agency and the Prostate Center at
Vancouver General Hospital (VGH) to tackle new targets and molecules
for the treatment of breast, ovarian and prostate cancer. We are committed to partnerships with professional and patient
organizations that deliver benefits to patients including disease
management tools, awareness of clinical trial options and access to new
Pfizer Inc: Working together for a healthier world™
At Pfizer, we apply science and our global resources to improve health
and well-being at every stage of life. We strive to set the standard
for quality, safety and value in the discovery, development and
manufacturing of medicines for people and animals. Our diversified
global health care portfolio includes human and animal biologic and
small molecule medicines and vaccines, as well as nutritional products
and many of the world's best-known consumer products. Every day,
Pfizer colleagues work across developed and emerging markets to advance
wellness, prevention, treatments and cures that challenge the most
feared diseases of our time. Consistent with our responsibility as the
world's leading biopharmaceutical company, we also collaborate with
health care providers, governments and local communities to support and
expand access to reliable, affordable health care around the world.
For more than 150 years, Pfizer has worked to make a difference for all
who rely on us. To learn more about our commitments, please visit us
SOURCE Pfizer Canada Inc.
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BC Cancer Agency