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Genetic variations may help identify best candidates for preventive breast cancer drugs
Date:6/13/2013

ROCHESTER, Minn. -- Newly discovered genetic variations may help predict breast cancer risk in women who receive preventive breast cancer therapy with the selective estrogen receptor modulator drugs tamoxifen and raloxifene, a Mayo Clinic-led study has found. The study is published in the journal Cancer Discovery.

"Our findings are important because we identified genetic factors that could eventually be used to select women who should be offered the drugs for prevention," said James Ingle, M.D., an oncologist at Mayo Clinic.

Dr. Ingle and collaborators at the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project (NSABP) and the RIKEN Center for Genomic Medicine conducted a genome-wide association study involving 592 patients who developed breast cancer while receiving preventive therapy and 1,171 matched controls. Participants were selected from 33,000 women enrolled in the NSABP breast cancer prevention trials. This research was supported by a Pharmacogenomics Research Network grant from the National Institute of General Medical Science and the National Cancer Institute.

The researchers analyzed participants' DNA to identify variations in their genetic makeup and identified two genetic variations, or single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), that were associated with breast cancer risk in or near the genes ZNF423 and CTSO.

They discovered that women with favorable variations in these genes were more likely to respond to preventive therapy with the drugs while women with unfavorable variations may not. In addition, women with unfavorable variations had a five-fold increased risk of developing breast cancer.

Dr. Ingle says the recent guidelines by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force emphasize that selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERM) therapy with tamoxifen and raloxifene can lower a woman's risk for developing breast cancer. However, there currently is no way to know which women will benefit from
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Contact: Joe Dangor
newsbureau@mayo.edu
507-284-5005
Mayo Clinic
Source:Eurekalert

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