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Targeting RET–interleukin-6 crosstalk to impair metastatic dissemination in breast cancer

Andrea Morandi1* and Clare M Isacke2

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Experimental and Clinical Biomedical Sciences, University of Florence, Viale Morgagni, 50, I-51034, Florence, Italy

2 Breakthrough Breast Cancer Research Centre, The Institute of Cancer Research, London SW3 6JB, UK

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Breast Cancer Research 2014, 16:301  doi:10.1186/bcr3608

Published: 28 January 2014


RET (rearranged during transfection) is a receptor tyrosine kinase overexpressed in a subset of oestrogen receptor (ER)-positive breast cancers whose expression is regulated by ER signalling. The article from the Hynes group has reported for the first time that RET expression can also be regulated by the inflammatory cytokine IL-6. Importantly, RET and IL-6 interact at a functional level to control migration and the metastatic potential of ER-positive breast cancer cells, in a process that is mediated by FAK activation. Further, targeting RET with receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitors was reported to be more effective than endocrine therapies in impairing metastatic dissemination in vivo, thereby indicating a level of RET regulation that is independent of ER.