Navigation Links
Breast cancer: Reducing the risk of unnecessary chemo
Date:11/8/2010

This release is available in French.

A fundamental principle of medicine is: "first, do no harm." However, for doctors who treat breast cancer, this is easier said than done. Every year, almost 22,000 Canadian women are diagnosed with breast cancer their treatment usually involves surgery to remove a tumour and then chemotherapy to reduce the risk of cancer returning. But studies show that for most patients with early stage breast cancer, chemotherapy following surgery is totally unnecessary and therefore does more harm than good.

Identifying whether a patient's cancer is at low or high risk of recurring would help doctors reduce unnecessary treatments for low risk patients. This could have a huge impact on a patient's quality of life and also significantly reduce the cost of health care.

Did you know?

Chemotherapy can be devastating both physically and emotionally. Side effects of breast cancer chemotherapy range from nausea, vomiting and hair loss to mouth sores, menopause, infertility, numbness and aching of the joints, hands and feet.

Currently, most doctors assess a patient's prognosis using their age and "tumour grade," but this approach doesn't work very well. Now, NRC researchers have developed a tool to determine which breast cancer patients have little risk of their disease recurring. The tool an algorithm that identifies "gene expression signatures" or biomarkers that can predict low risk tumours with 87-100 percent accuracy in different groups of patients has the potential to virtually eliminate unnecessary chemotherapy.

To conduct their study, which appeared in a recent issue of Nature Communications, Dr. Edwin Wang and his colleagues at the NRC Biotechnology Research Institute in Montreal (NRC-BRI) used published data on gene expression profiles from more than 1000 breast cancer samples. "Every tumour has a gene expression profile, which indicates how the patient's genes have changed," he explains. "We combined this data with information on the patient's outcome such as whether the original tumour spread and how long the person survived to develop our algorithm."

The NRC team now hopes to see its algorithm applied in a clinical setting. "We have a provisional patent on the intellectual property and we would like to get a Canadian company to license it and turn it into a kit format," says Dr. Maureen O'Connor of NRC-BRI, who co-authored the study. "We've had interest expressed from more than one company so far."

Dr. O'Connor adds that the NRC algorithm could be adapted to other types of cancer where over-treatment is common, such as prostate cancer. "Prostate cancer in particular is usually not an aggressive disease, but the treatment can be extreme," she says. "We would like to develop a test that can predict with 99 percent accuracy whether a patient's cancer is not aggressive, so they can make the best decision about whether to proceed with treatment right away."

In future, the algorithm may also help pave the way toward personalized therapy for cancer patients. "On average, every cancer patient has 14-16 mutated genes," says Dr. Wang. "Based on their unique genetic signature, we hope to figure out which mutations to target to block the cancer process in each patient."


'/>"/>

Contact: NRC Media Relations
media@nrc-cnrc.gc.ca
613-991-1431
National Research Council of Canada
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Paxil Blocks Tamoxifen, Lowers Survival Odds Against Breast Cancer
2. Low forms of cyclin E reduce breast cancer drugs effectiveness
3. Racial disparities persist in the diagnosis of advanced breast cancer and colon cancer in the U.S.
4. For Some Breast Cancer Patients, Shorter Radiation Works Well
5. Short-term radiation therapy successful on breast cancer
6. Few Women at High Risk for Breast Cancer Take Tamoxifen
7. Hormone May Prevent Aggressive Breast Cancer
8. MSU researcher linking breast cancer patients with alternative therapies
9. MRI May Not Add Value to Routine Breast Cancer Care
10. Breast Cancer Stats Differ Racially Despite Similar Mammogram Rates
11. Businesses Rally Big Efforts to Benefit the Susan G. Komen Phoenix Affiliates Fight Against Breast Cancer
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/22/2017)... ... 22, 2017 , ... The Waismann Method® is providing a faster, ... recently fallen victim to America’s opioid epidemic. Now, opiate dependent individuals can be treated ... free from the shame, stigma, and harmful labeling believed to prevent many ...
(Date:2/22/2017)... ... February 22, 2017 , ... The National Academy of Certified ... the April 2017 testing period. NACCM, a nonprofit organization, has provided the premier ... exam is periodically re-calibrated to ensure that newly certified professionals are prepared to ...
(Date:2/22/2017)... ... February 22, 2017 , ... Giving ... fewer trips the emergency room, fewer hospital admissions, and better blood pressure and ... Care® (AJMC®) finds. The study can be found here . , The ...
(Date:2/22/2017)... ... 2017 , ... In a 2012 survey, over a quarter ... a prescription because they could not afford to pay for it. Among those ... At the same time, hospitals, pharmacies, manufacturers and nursing homes dispose ...
(Date:2/22/2017)... Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) , ... February 22, 2017 , ... ... with the recent addition of esteemed ophthalmologist, Dr. Steven H. Rauchman, practicing at ... are common in auto accidents, product liability, premise liability and other personal injury cases. ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/23/2017)... , February 23, 2017 ... report on the global market for intraoperative imaging, ... presently valued at US$ 513.9 million. According to ... keep surging on the grounds of increasing adoption ... the field of diagnostic imaging for neurosurgeries. The ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... The top three players dominating ... Koninklijke Philips N.V., and Schiller. Collectively, these companies held ... in 2015. Strong product portfolio and a monumental geographical ... aiding these players remain leaders in the fragmented competitive ... the global market are likely to focus on mergers ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... On Wednesday, February 22, 2017, US markets saw ... sectors finished the trading sessions in green, four closed in ... indices were also mixed at the close of yesterday,s session. ... by 0.09%; the Dow Jones Industrial Average edged 0.16% higher, ... 2,362.82, down 0.11%. This Thursday morning, Stock-Callers.com looks at the ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: