Cdk6 as a Marker for Breast Cancer

Tech ID: 00-11

Many cell cycle regulatory molecules have been shown to be present in higher amounts in tumor cells. In contrast, researchers at National Jewish Health discovered that the important cell cycle kinase, cdk6, actually decreases cell growth and is absent or present in low levels in tissue from breast cancer patients. Therefore, cdk6 may be useful as a cancer marker and as a target for cancer therapy, especially in patients with breast cancer.


Potential Applications

  • Diagnostic assay for breast cancer
  • Diagnostic assays for evaluating the efficacy of anti-cancer treatments and for determining the stage of tumor malignancy
  • Method to regulate tumor cell growth


Advantages of Invention
Possible new marker and target for early stage breast cancer


State of Development
Method tested in vitro:

  • No cdk6 or considerably lower levels of cdk6 were detected in breast tumor-derived cell lines compare to healthy breast cells.
  • Breast tumor-derived cell lines cells overexpressing cdk6 exhibited a much reduced growth rate compare to the control cell lines.
  • Histologic studies using tissue from breast cancer patients show a severely decreased level of cdk6.


Further R&D Required
Demonstrating reliability of cdk6 as a predictor of in vivo tumor cell growth.



  • Lucas et al. (2004) Molecular Cancer Research Vol. 2, 105- 114. PMID:  14985467.

  • Nagasawa, Masayuki, Erwin W. Gelfand, and Joseph J. Lucas. "Accumulation of High Levels of the P53 and P130 Growth-suppressing Proteins in Cell Lines Stably Over-expressing Cyclin-dependent Kinase 6 (cdk6)." Oncogene 20.23 (2001): 2889-899. Print. PMID: 11420701.

  • Nagasawa et al. (1997). J. Immunology 158(11): 5146-5154. PMID: 9164930.

  • Jia, Yi, Joanne Domenico, Christina Swasey, Meiqin Wang, Erwin W. Gelfand, and Joseph J. Lucas. "Modulated Expression of Genes Encoding Estrogen Metabolizing Enzymes by G1-Phase Cyclin-Dependent Kinases 6 and 4 in Human Breast Cancer Cells." National Center for Biotechnology Information. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 21 May 2014. Web. 02 July 2014. PMC4029737


Patent Status
U.S. patent #7,160,681


Erwin W. Gelfand, MD, and Joseph Lucas, PhD


Licensing Potential
This technology is available for licensing


For Further Information, Contact:
Emmanuel Hilaire, PhD
Technology Transfer Office
National Jewish Health
1400 Jackson Street, Room M206b
Denver, CO 80206
Voice: 303.398.1262
Fax: 303.270.2352