Author Interviews, Biomarkers, Breast Cancer / 30.07.2015
MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Karla M. Gonye, MBA President, sphingotec LLC Cambridge, Massachusetts MedicalResearch: What is the background for this study? Response:
- Met- and Leu-Enkephalin: are endogenous pentapeptides of the family of opioid peptides known as opiod-growth factors (OGF)
- Enkephalins have been widely studied and play a major role in a variety of physiological processes
- Perception of pain
- Regulation of stress
- Regulation of cardiovascular function
- Regulation of bone formation
- Regulation of immune responses
- Alcohol and pain relievers reduce synthesis of Enkephalins
- Met-Enkephalin (opioid growth factor) inhibits tumor progression and metastasis and enhances natural killer cell activity1,2
- Opioids can directly interact with tumor cells to cause a cytotoxic or antiproliferative effect
- Opioids can modulate host antitumor immune mechanisms
- Opiods can also induce apoptosis
- We need enkephalins to help inhibit tumor progression
- At sphingotec, it was hypothesized that disease progression begins earlier than symptoms are present and that reduced enkephalins in the blood would be an indicator of future breast cancer; measurement of this hormone peptide was possible with the company’s expertise, and that test could be developed to precisely measure enkephalin.
- This method is published in a separate publication by Ernst et al (2006) in Peptides.
- To test this hypothesis, Sphingotec measured enkephalin levels in the MDC and MPP study populations to determine if an association could be made between lower enkephalins and risk of breast cancer: We related proenkephalin (P-ENK) in fasting plasma from 1929 healthy women (mean age 58±5.9 years) of the population based Malmö Diet and Cancer Study (MDCS) to incidence of breast cancer (n=123) using multivariate Cox proportional hazards models during 14.8 years of follow-up. For replication, P-ENK was related to risk of breast cancer (n=130) in an older independent sample from the Malmö Preventive Project (MPP) consisting of 1569 women (mean age 70.0±4.4 years), using multivariate logistic regression.