Use of a Cellular Compartment as a Prognostic Marker of Breast Cancer

INVENTION: A cellular compartment (termed Cancer Compartment 1 or CC1) that is present predominantly in transformed cells and correlates with the degree of malignancy of breast cancer has been identified (see below). CC1 can be identified in tissue staining or using ELISA and flow cytometry. The correlation between CC1 prevalence and recurrence of the cancer in patients with negative lymph nodes at primary diagnosis has been established. There is evidence that CC1 may be a marker in cancers other than breast. Several antibodies, which can detect the presence of CC1 in cells, have been developed.

BACKGROUND and SIGNIFICANCE: Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women, second only to skin cancer, and is the second leading cause of cancer death. An estimated 40,200 women are expected to die from breast cancer this year. Cellular markers identified within aggressive breast cancer tumors are valuable prognostic tools. Quantitative analyses indicate that CC1 is expressed at least ten-fold higher in tumor cell lines than in normal primary human fibroblasts, leading to easy detection of the staining.

USE of the INVENTION: CC1 can be quantitated in tissue obtained from non-invasive protocols. This technology allows rapid screening of tissue from patients and offers the prognosis of cancer progression. The presence of CC1 and its quantitative detection offer a quick and decisive manner with which to identify cancerous vs. non-cancerous lesions.

A patent application has been filed, and Northwestern is interested in licensing this technology

Inventor(s): Sui Huang, Ann Thor, Rajesh Kamath, Chen Wang, David Spector

Type of Offer: Licensing

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