New breast cancer clues found in gene analysis

a a a a
Share this story
Show Related Headlines
Related Articles
Radiation may up breast cancer risk
Author Judy Blume has breast cancer
Poor sleep linked to breast cancer

NEW YORK (AP) - Scientists reported Sunday that they have completed a major analysis of the genetics of breast cancer, finding four major classes of the disease. They hope their work will lead to more effective treatments, perhaps with some drugs already in use.

The new finding offers hints that one type of breast cancer might be vulnerable to drugs that already work against ovarian cancer.

The study, published online Sunday by the journal Nature, is the latest example of research into the biological details of tumors, rather than focusing primarily on where cancer arises in the body.

The hope is that such research can reveal cancer's genetic weaknesses for better drug targeting.

"With this study, we're one giant step closer to understanding the genetic origins of the four major subtypes of breast cancer," Dr. Matthew Ellis of the Washington University School of Medicine said in a statement. He is a co-leader of the research.

"Now we can investigate which drugs work best for patients based on the genetic profiles of their tumors," he said.

The researchers analyzed DNA of breast cancer tumors from 825 patients, looking for abnormalities. Altogether, they reported, breast cancers appear to fall into four main classes when viewed in this way.

One class showed similarities to ovarian cancers, suggesting it may be driven by similar biological developments.

"It's clear they are genetically more similar to ovarian tumors than to other breast cancers," Ellis said. "Whether they can be treated the same way is an intriguing possibility that needs to be explored."

The report is the latest from the Cancer Genome Atlas, a federally funded project that has produced similar analyses for brain, colorectal, lung, and ovarian cancers.

Copyright Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Print this article

Comments

Hmm... It looks like you’re not a WCPO Insider. or Subscribe now to contribute!

Market Summary
The Dow Jones Industrial Average SM is proprietary to and is calculated, distributed and marketed by Dow Jones Indexes, a licensed trademark of CME Group Index Services LLC and have been licensed for use. "Dow Jones(r)", "Dow Jones Indexes" and "Dow Jones Industrial Average SM" are service marks of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings, LLC. "CME" is a trademark of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. All content of the Dow Jones Industrial Average (c) CME Group Index Services LLC 2010.