GWU MEDICAL CENTER-LED TEAM REPORTS IMPORTANT BREAST CANCER DISCOVERY:
GENE EXPRESSED IN 80% OF BREAST CANCER PATIENTS IN PRELIMINARY FINDINGS;
MAY PROVIDE NEW EARLY USEFUL TARGET FOR BREAST CANCER DETECTION AND THERAPY;
TEAM LEADER PATRICIA BERG HAD DISCOVERED AND CLONED "BP1"
TEAM NEWS CONFERENCE 11AM TUESDAY, APRIL 22, ROOM 227 ROSS HALL, GWU (23RD & I)
FINDINGS TO BE PUBLISHED IN "BREAST CANCER RESEARCH" JOURNAL
WHILE OVERALL IMPACT, DISPROPORTIONATELY MORE AFRICAN AMERICAN BREAST CANCER PATIENTS EXPRESS GENE
(VIDEO OF LAB WORK WILL BE RELEASED AT PRESS CONFERENCE)
Dr. Berg, Associate Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and team members report that, "Because of these high numbers and our molecular studies, we believe that this gene may offer a useful new early target for breast cancer detection and therapy, and we must now conduct expedited research." Dr. Berg has been studying the gene for 16 years, and began breast cancer testing in 1999 when she joined the faculty of GWU.
Team members will hold a news conference on Tuesday, April 22, at 11 AM EST, in Room 227 Ross Hall, GWU Medical Center, 23rd and I Streets, N.W.
The findings will be published in the journal "Breast Cancer Research" concurrent with the news conference at 11 AM EST April 22 and will be available on-line at that time at: http://breast-cancer-research.com/currentissue/browse.asp, prior to printing of the June edition of the Journal. In addition to GWU, the authors of the paper included scientists from Children's National Medical Center, the University of Maryland Medical School, and Howard University College of Medicine.
The GWU/Berg team also stated that "While the research into BP1 may impact all groups with breast cancer in that there was an overall higher expression rate, the research may prove especially helpful to African Americans, who disproportionately expressed the new gene."
Dr. Berg pointed to more than 1.2 million people diagnosed with breast cancer annually, including 205,000 in the U.S., and stated, "We hope that this kind of research can make a real difference in addressing a major disease. Breast cancer is the leading cause of death among American women 33 to 55. 40,000 American women died from breast cancer last year alone." Dr. Berg asserted that the discovery, cloning, and findings of the effect of the new gene "could now expedite research to put us further on the trail of treating breast cancer and other cancers." Berg has previously published studies demonstrating that BP1 is also expressed in patients with leukemia. BP1 is a newly discovered form of a previously known gene, DLX4.
Dr. Allan Goldstein, Chairman of the GWU Medical Center Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, stated, "Dr. Berg's research is cutting edge and is exactly the reason we brought her to GWU. These findings are the fruits of over fifteen years of research by Dr. Berg. The results are both important and exciting in terms of potential clinical application."
Prior to GWU, Dr. Berg was on the faculty of the University of Maryland Medical School and was a Senior Staff Fellow at the National Institutes of Health.
*** MEDIA NOTE: Room 227 will be available for set-up at 10AM April
22. Also, video of lab in operation will be available at the press