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Evaluation of the treatment effect with melatonin in breast tumor stem cells

Grant number: 13/08939-4
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): September 01, 2013
Effective date (End): August 31, 2014
Field of knowledge:Health Sciences - Medicine
Principal researcher:Debora Aparecida Pires de Campos Zuccari
Grantee:Felipe Arthur Faustino de Medeiros
Home Institution: Faculdade de Medicina de São José do Rio Preto (FAMERP). Secretaria de Desenvolvimento Econômico (São Paulo - Estado). São José do Rio Preto , SP, Brazil


Breast cancer is a neoplasia that would affects more women worldwide, with high mortality rates. These high rates occur due to acquired resistance to certain treatments for patients, allowing the recurrence and / or tumor growth, invasion and metastasis, representing the main causes of death by disease. Recently, it was discovered the existence of "tumor stem cells" (TSCs) in human tumors, such as being responsible for tumor recurrence and resistance to therapy. Due to the important role of TSCs, it is important to identify the factors that control their proliferation. Studies have identified OCT4 as responsible for self-renewal and maintenance of pluripotency of stem cells, this gene is expressed in embryonic stem cells, germ cells and adult stem cells. Therefore, it is interesting to study potential drugs that target this specific population in breast cancer. Melatonin, a natural hormone, has tumor suppressor activity, however, little is known on its potential therapeutic effect on mammary tumor stem cells. Thus, the aim of this study is to reproduce mamosferas from strains of breast cancer and after treatment with melatonin evaluate cell viability by MTT assay. Furthermore, it will be checked OCT4 protein expression by immunocytochemistry to confirm the presence of tumor stem cells. The results may confirm the potencial oncostatic effect of melatonin, targeting tumor stem cells.

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