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New data improve understanding of breast cancer's multiple varieties
Date:5/3/2012

New findings presented at Europe's leading breast cancer translational research conference this year shed new light on the many biological differences between individual breast cancers.

Focused on the biological features that make tumors more or less sensitive to important therapies, the new studies will help doctors make crucial choices about the most appropriate treatment for millions of patients.

"Despite major advances in the treatment of breast cancer many patients continue to relapse and die from the disease," noted Prof Mitch Dowsett from the Royal Marsden Hospital, UK, former IMPAKT Chair. "Studies presented at this year's IMPAKT further emphasize the potential of biomarkers to identify new targets for developing therapy to disease that is resistant to our current treatments as well as the groups of patients most likely to respond to the new treatments. In this way we are progressively reducing the threat posed by a diagnosis of breast cancer and doing this in a personalized fashion."

A possible mechanism for endocrine resistance

An experimental model of breast cancer has yielded exciting new insights into why some breast cancers become resistant to endocrine therapies such as tamoxifen, say researchers from the US and Italy. Their findings could lead to new treatments and prognostic tests for the disease.

"Endocrine resistance in breast cancer is a major clinical issue. Despite years of studies, we still have an incomplete view of the molecular mechanisms that determine endocrine resistance and this limits the potential for developing new therapeutics," explained Dr Luca Malorni, from the Hospital of Prato, Italy and the Breast Center at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston-TX.

Previous observations from his group and others suggested that the transcription factor AP-1 might play a relevant role in endocrine resistance. AP-1 is known to regulate gene expression in response to a variety of
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Contact: Vanessa Pavinato
media@esmo.org
European Society for Medical Oncology
Source:Eurekalert

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