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Monoclonal antibody recognizing tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-4 (TIMP-4) and its use in a prognostic test to predict clinical outcomes in breast cancer patients.

Lankenau Institute for Medical Research
posted on 02/25/2008

Ductal breast cancers are the most common breast cancers (80%). When tumors are smaller than 20 mm in diameter and without spread of the disease to other sites, patients have traditionally been given a good prognosis. Unfortunately clinical data reveals that as many as 20% of those diagnosed with small ductal carcinomas are incorrectly identified as patients with good prognosis. A significant subgroup of patients who would be expected to be disease-free at 5 years after diagnosis will actually suffer a recurrence or succumb to their disease within that period. It is therefore particularly important, when dealing with small ductal tumors, to identify the most aggressive form of IDC. The present innovation relates to the development of a very specific monoclonal antibody and its use as a marker to identify small invasive ductal carcinoma through the detection of TIMP-4 expression in breast tissue.

Suggested Uses

Mouse anti-human TIMP-4 antibody to use in immunohistochemistry

Use of the anti-TIMP-4 antibody as a marker to identify, at a very early stage, small invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC)

Innovation Details

Detailed Description

Antibody: Mice were immunized with the human TIMP-4 antigen and hybridomas were generated. The resulting TIMP-4 antibody provides better signal –to- noise ratio than other commercially available TIMP-4 antibodies. In particular, this monoclonal antibody gives unsurpassed results in immunohistochemistry on formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded material.

Test for survival prognosis among patients diagnosed with invasive ductal carcinoma,:
Breast cancers are usually tested for the presence or absence of Her-2/neu and estrogen/ progesterone hormone receptors (ER/PR). With ER positive breast cancer, hormone-blocking medications, such as tamoxifen, prevents cancer progression by reducing estrogen-induced growth stimulation. LIMR scientists have shown that the presence of TIMP-4 is indicative of a poor prognosis in breast cancer patients. They further demonstrated that combining the TIMP-4 marker with the estrogen receptor marker can significantly improve the ability to predict clinical outcomes in early stage breast cancer patients. Retrospective studies have shown that the combination of the marker TIMP-4 with ER can be used as a prognostic marker to identify breast cancer patients who have poor survival out-come.

File Number: 002 

Other Information:

A patent application has been filed on the prognostic test and a monoclonal mouse anti-human TIMP-4 antibody is available for licensing. Companies wishing to obtain it should contact LIMR Technology Transfer:

Anna Laakmann, MD, JD
Manager, Technology Development and Commercialization

J. Todd Abrams, PhD
Director, Philanthropy and Business Development

Patent Applications:
Prognostic Cancer Markers
Wallon, Margaretha; Prendergast, George;
Knudsen, Karen
Filed on 20.12.2006, as Appl. No. PCT/US2006/048411

IP Protection

Patent Number(s): WO/2007/075672

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February 11, 2009

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