Role of cytokines in inflammatory breast cancer invasion modulated by Reishi


martinez1Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBC) is the most lethal form of breast cancer with a survival rate of <5% in 5y. IBC symptoms include erythema, breast-swelling, pain, and “peau d’orange”. However these symptoms are associated with the presence of tumor spheroids, which are non-adherent cell clusters that invade the breast dermal lymphatics. IBC manifestation may suggest an atypical involvement of immunological and inflammatory processes. Interleukin-6 (IL-6) is a cytokine that initiates inflammation, and the immune response. Cancer cells exposed to or that secrete IL-6 autocrinely display increased invasion. IBC cells secrete IL-6 and express IL-6 receptors, however the autocrine regulation of this cytokine has not been studied in IBC. Our laboratory’s research interests are focused on tumor biology and on the effects of Ganoderma lucidum (Reishi) as a natural IBC therapeutic. Reishi disintegrates tumor spheroids, and reduces IL-6 secretion. The hypothesis is that Reishi inhibits IBC tumor progression by inhibition of the IL-6 autocrine signaling loop, and by modulation of cytokine secretion. Specific aims are: 1) To study the contribution of IL-6 in the invasive potential of IBC cells and to determine how Reishi modulates it in vitro. 2) To delineate Reishi effects in invasion impairment via cytokine modulation in vivo.