Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

State-of-the-state on genetic-based testing, treatment for breast cancer revealed

Date:
March 24, 2014
Source:
The Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth
Summary:
A review of the role that information gathered through genetic testing plays in the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer has been conducted. The resulting paper discusses targeted therapies, new biomarkers, and the quality of commercially available testing methods.

"A personalized approach increases the precision and success of breast cancer treatment," said Gregory Tsongalis, PhD, director of Molecular Pathology at Norris Cotton Cancer Center and lead author of the paper. "Molecular profiling exposes a tumor's Achilles' heel. We can see what messages the tumor cells are receiving and sending. It is a biological intelligence gathering mission in an attempt to interrupt the disease.
Credit: Image courtesy of The Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth

Dartmouth researchers at its Norris Cotton Cancer Center have compiled a review of the role that information gathered through genetic testing plays in the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer. The paper entitled "Personalized Therapy for Breast Cancer" was accepted on March 17, 2014, for publication in Clinical Genetics. The paper discusses targeted therapies, new biomarkers, and the quality of commercially available testing methods.

Genomic testing is changing the way breast cancer is diagnosed and treated. By examining a woman's genes to look for specific mutations or biomarkers, treatment can be personalized to the tumor cell's biology and a woman's genetics.

"A personalized approach increases the precision and success of breast cancer treatment," said Gregory Tsongalis, PhD, director of Molecular Pathology at Norris Cotton Cancer Center and lead author of the paper. "Molecular profiling exposes a tumor's Achilles' heel. We can see what messages the tumor cells are receiving and sending. It is a biological intelligence gathering mission in an attempt to interrupt the disease.

According to Tsongalis large scale genetic testing of breast cancer is not yet part of routine clinical care as it is with lung and colon cancers, even though he and his team run a genetics laboratory for routine cancer care. Genetic testing according to Tsongalis is a powerful weapon in the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer.

With results from the genetic testing of a tumor cell's biology, clinicians categorize breast cancer in ways that allow them to select the most effective treatments. Based on genetic biomarkers, there are three categories of breast cancer:

  1. ER-positive breast cancer needs hormones, such as estrogen to grow. Estrogen fuels cancer cell growth, stops cancer cells from dying, and helps the cells lay down roots to maintain blood supply for tumors. ER-positive cancers are less aggressive and often treated with drugs that are selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERM), such as Tamoxifen, Raloxifene, Toremifene and aromatese inhibitors (AIs) such as Letrozole, Anastrozole and Exemestane. SERM drugs block estrogen from telling cancer cells to divide and grow; they have been shown successful in treating as well as preventing ER positive breast cancer. AIs block intake of estrogen in the system and reduce estrogen levels in serum, tissue, and tumor cells. AIs are commonly used in post-menopausal women.
  2. HER2 -positive breast cancer cells contain large amounts of protein that help them grow and multiply. Medications turn off the production of protein to stop tumor growth and kill cancer cells. HER2 treatments include Trastuzumab, Laptinib, Pertuzumab, and Trastuzumab Emtansine.
  3. Triple negative (ER-negative/PR-negative/HER2-negative) breast cancer is the most aggressive type and has the poorest clinical outcome. There is no approved personalized therapy for triple negative, but research has identified six subtypes of tumors. This is the first step in identifying biomarkers that can lead to the development of personalized treatments.

"Genomic testing of breast cancer has expanded our understanding of the disease process and has proven more effective than traditional laboratory tests," said Tsongalis. "At NCCC all of our breast cancer patients are tested for abnormal copies of the HER2 gene using specially designed DNA probes. New biomarkers and the reclassification of cancers based on these biomarkers has led to the development of new, effective treatments that can be personalized to an individual breast cancer patient."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by The Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Francine B. De Abreu, Gary N. Schwartz, Wendy A. Wells, Gregory J. Tsongalis. Personalized Therapy for Breast Cancer. Clinical Genetics, 2014; DOI: 10.1111/cge.12381

Cite This Page:

The Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth. "State-of-the-state on genetic-based testing, treatment for breast cancer revealed." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 March 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140324133244.htm>.
The Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth. (2014, March 24). State-of-the-state on genetic-based testing, treatment for breast cancer revealed. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140324133244.htm
The Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth. "State-of-the-state on genetic-based testing, treatment for breast cancer revealed." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140324133244.htm (accessed September 16, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) President Obama is expected to send 3,000 troops to West Africa as part of the effort to contain Ebola's spread. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) A Texas man is lucky to be alive after he and three others floated for more than a day in the Gulf of Mexico when their boat sank during a fishing trip. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ivorians Abandon Monkey Pets in Fear Over Ebola Virus

Ivorians Abandon Monkey Pets in Fear Over Ebola Virus

AFP (Sep. 16, 2014) Since the arrival of Ebola in Ivory Coast, Ivorians have been abandoning their pets, particularly monkeys, in the fear that they may transmit the virus. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Study Links Male-Pattern Baldness To Prostate Cancer

Study Links Male-Pattern Baldness To Prostate Cancer

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) New findings suggest men with a certain type of baldness at age 45 are 39 percent more likely to develop aggressive prostate cancer. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

      Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile: iPhone Android Web
      Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins