Migration and Invasion of Breast Cancers Belonging to Different Racial Groups

By: Jocelyne Milke, Jacqueline Uribe, Kevin Wang, and Idalia Myasnikov

Department: Cellular & Molecular Biology

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Nicole Salazar-Velmeshev

Disparities exist between racial groups amongst women diagnosed with breast cancer. Despite the advances in healthcare, Black and Hispanic women are more likely to get breast cancer than white women. Black women are more likely to get aggressive types of cancer such as Triple Negative Breast Cancer (TNBC) which does not express HER2, progesterone, or estrogen receptors. Breast cancers can be divided into TNBC, HER2 positive, or luminal. Although socioeconomic factors and access to healthcare have been found to contribute to breast cancer disparities among women of color, differences in behavior of breast cancers from different racial groups has not been studied. Our goal is to identify differences in behavior across breast cancer cell lines (which represent different racial groups) by investigating their ability to migrate and invade. We hypothesize that more aggressive breast cancer cell lines will respond better to chemoattractants and exhibit more migration and invasion. We conducted migration assays on 10 breast cancer cell lines using VEGF as a chemoattractant. We also conducted invasion assays on the same breast cancer cell lines using VEGF as a chemoattractant, Matrigel as the extracellular matrix using Boyden chambers, and microscopy imaging for quantification. We analyzed % migration across the different cell lines. We found that MDA-MB-231, HCC70, and MDA-MB-468 (TNBC) were more migratory than HCC1954 and HCC1419 (HER2 positive), and MCF7 and ZR-75-30 (Luminal). MDA-MB-231 was more invasive than SkBr3 (HER2 positive) and MCF7. Our results indicate that triple negative status in cell lines from minority women are more aggressive than those from white women with the same hormone receptor status. Our research will allow us to provide a model for cancer and better understand breast cancer disparities.