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Biomarker predicts risk of breast cancer recurrence after tamoxifen treatment
Date:6/28/2013

ary tumor samples and patient data from the placebo-controlled MA.17 trial, which confirmed the ability of extended letrozole therapy to improve survival after the completion of tamoxifen treatment. Tissue samples were available from 83 patients whose tumors recurred during the study period 31 who had received letrozole and 52 in the placebo group and 166 patients with no recurrence, 91 of whom had received letrozole, with 75 getting the placebo. Analysis of the tumor samples revealed that a high HOXB13/IL17BR ratio meaning the expression level of HOXB13 is greater than that of IL17BR predicts an increased risk for tumor recurrence after tamoxifen therapy, but that elevated risk drops significantly if a patient receives letrozole

Paul E. Goss, MD, PhD, director of the Breast Cancer Research Program at the MGH Cancer Center and a co-author of the report, explains, "This discovery means that about 60 percent of women with the most common kind of breast cancer can be spared unnecessary treatment with the concommitant side effects and costs. But more importantly, the 40 percent of patients who are at risk of recurrence can now be identified as needing continued therapy with letrozole, and many will be spared death from breast cancer." He and Sgroi note that their findings need to be validated by additional studies before they can be put into clinical practice.


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Contact: Katie Marquedant
kmarquedant@partners.org
617-726-0337
Massachusetts General Hospital
Source:Eurekalert

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