Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis announced news today sure to make any woman smile.
A new genomic test is able to personalize breast cancer treatment.
A set of 50 genes can be used to reliably identify the four known types of breast cancer, according to research from the study linked below, conducted by the School of Medicine. Using this data, oncologists will be able to predict the most effective treatment for a patient who is diagnosed with skin cancer.
This is likely to shorten the diagnosis and treatment process, and be a strong predictor of breast cancer.
"Unlike a widely used genomic test that applies only to lymph-node negative, estrogen-receptor positive breast cancer, this new genomic test is broadly applicable for all women diagnosed with breast cancer," says breast cancer specialist Matthew Ellis, M.D., Ph.D., a member of the Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University said in the University’s press release, released on February 27.
Abnormalities of breast tissue are the main cause of breast cancer, according to the press release, but not all cancers have the same genetics. To narrow the list of thousands of genetic differences in a breast cancer patient down to only a set of 50, the study’s authors analyzed gene activity of more than 1,000 breast tumors.
The conclusions of the study, as displayed in the abstract, read:
“Diagnosis by intrinsic subtype adds significant prognostic and predictive information to standard parameters for patients with breast cancer. The prognostic properties of the continuous risk score will be of value for the management of node-negative breast cancers. The subtypes and risk score can also be used to assess the likelihood of efficacy from neoadjuvant chemotherapy.”
Basically, this means that by determining the cancer prognostic, scientists may be able to determine which chemotherapy would best suit the patient.
Good news for those who know the hardships of a cancer diagnosis, even better news for the young women like myself who face a diagnosis.
The study was reported Feb. 9, 2009, through advance online publication in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. Ellis' collaborators include co-authors Charles Perou, Ph.D., associate professor of genetics and pathology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine, Philip S. Bernard, M.D., assistant professor of pathology and medical director of the molecular pathology laboratory at the University of Utah Huntsman Cancer Institute, and Torsten Nielsen, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of pathology and laboratory medicine at the University of British Columbia. The study’s abstract can be found here: http://jco.ascopubs.org/cgi/content/abstract/JCO.2008.18.1370v1.
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