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Largest cancer genetic analysis reveals new way of classifying cancer
Date:8/7/2014

iple types of cells that can each give rise to tumors. Understanding the cell in which the cancer originates appears to be very important in determining the subtype of a tumor and, in turn, how that tumor behaves and how it should be treated."

Perou and Hoadley explain that the new approach may also shift how cancer drugs are developed, focusing more on the development of drugs targeting larger groups of cancers with genomic similarities, as opposed to a single tumor type as they are currently developed.

One striking example of the genetic differences within a single tissue type is breast cancer. The breast, a highly complex organ with multiple types of cells, gives rise to multiple types of breast cancer; luminal A, luminal B, HER2-enriched and basal-like, which was previously known. In this analysis, the basal-like breast cancers looked more like ovarian cancer and cancers of a squamous-cell type origin, a type of cell that composes the lower-layer of a tissue, rather than other cancers that arise in the breast.

"This latest research further solidifies that basal-like breast cancer is an entirely unique disease and is completely distinct from other types of breast cancer," said Perou. In addition, bladder cancers were also quite diverse and might represent at least three different disease types that also showed differences in patient survival.

As part of the Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology, a national network of researchers conducting clinical trials, UNC researchers are already testing the effectiveness of carboplatin a common treatment for ovarian cancer on top of standard of care chemotherapy for triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) patients, of which 80 percent are the basal-like subtype. The results of this study (called CALGB40603) were just published on Aug. 6 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology and showed a benefit of carboplatin in TNBC patients. This new clinical trial result suggests that there may be great
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Contact: Katy Jones
katy_jones@unc.edu
919-962-3405
University of North Carolina Health Care
Source:Eurekalert  

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