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New test may predict spread of breast cancer
Date:3/24/2009

March 24, 2009 (BRONX, NY) Scientists at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University have previously shown that the co-mingling of three cell types can predict whether localized breast cancer will spread throughout the body. Now, a collaborative study led by investigators at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, has produced a test for metastasis that could help doctors precisely identify which patients should receive aggressive therapy. This might spare many women at low risk for metastatic disease from undergoing unnecessary and potentially dangerous treatment. The findings were published today in the online version of Clinical Cancer Research.

This is the first marker that could reliably predict metastatic outcome in a case-controlled study, says study co-author John S. Condeelis, Ph.D., professor and co-chair of anatomy and structural biology and co-director of the Gruss Lipper Biophotonics Center at Einstein. It could dramatically change the way we approach the care of women with breast cancer.

The test, which most pathology labs could carry out, was developed by scientists at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell based on the intravital imaging observations of researchers from Einstein.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in the United States. Last year, approximately 182,000 women were diagnosed with breast cancer and more than 40,000 died from the disease.

Tumors in breast cancer patients are graded for degree of differentiation and staged for the extent of disease. Surgery is the first line of defense for most patients with breast cancer. For patients with higher grade tumors, additional treatment with chemotherapy or radiation is typically recommended to decrease the risk that the disease will spread. However, studies show that only 40 percent of these patients actually do develop metastatic disease. What this means is that most of these patients are unnecessarily
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Contact: Deirdre Branley
dbranley@aecom.yu.edu
718-430-2923
Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert  

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