Monday, September 24, 2012

Comprehensive Molecular Portraits of Human Breast Tumors

Big breast cancer science news today - test tube science, that is. 

The New York Times and various life science researchers announced yesterday that we've improved our genetic map of breast cancer --
a LOT.

In a highly technical article published online in Nature, researchers identified four different genetic types of breast cancer
  • Luminal A, a less aggressive, estrogen-positive cancer 
  • Luminal B, a more aggressive, estrogen-positive cancer 
  • HER2-enriched, which includes many, but not all, HER2-positive tumors
  • Basal (cell) -like, which includes many, but not all, triple-negative tumors
This information holds promise for targeting therapies in the future; helping women avoid treatment that would confer significant side effects, yet have little effect against their disease.

Now it needs to move from the bench (laboratory) to the bedside (clinical usefulness). Karuna Jaggar, executive director of Breast Cancer Action, called it a "stay tuned story" as we wait to learn which therapies turn out to work well in the real world.


1 comment:

Jody said...

What is essential for every patient to understand is the disconnenct between scientific discovery and a treatment at the infusion center. If that's not clearly understood many become discouraged and disenheartened. Genomics is enormously complicated. There won't be ANY overnight success.

It's wonderful to have these discussions underway.