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Researchers discover patterns of genes associated with timing of breast cancer recurrences
Date:12/6/2011

available to determine whether or not patients developed metastatic disease, and when the recurrence (if any) was found. The samples were processed and analyzed at Georgetown. Then scientists at Virginia Tech examined the gene expression patterns generated from the tumor biopsies relative to the known clinical outcomes to develop a predictive model of early, late or no disease recurrence.

The final analysis revealed distinct patterns in cancers that recurred early (up to three years from diagnosis) or late (more than ten years from diagnosis). Liu says that some of the genes that were identified were "expected and reassuring," but others were "unexpected and novel." Work is ongoing to validate selected genes as biological drivers of metastasis.

"Endocrine therapy and chemotherapy are not without toxicity," Liu says. "The ability to predict which patients will recur early in their treatment course can lead to more appropriate recommendations for adjuvant chemotherapy. It might also identify those women who would benefit most from studies using investigational agents to enhance the effects of tamoxifen or aromatase inhibitors."
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Contact: Karen Mallet
km463@georgetown.edu
Georgetown University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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