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UC San Diego researchers improve accuracy of breast cancer prognoses
Date:10/16/2007

One of the many unknowns facing women who are diagnosed with breast cancer is predicting the likelihood that the cancer will spread to other parts of the body metastasize. Researchers from UC San Diego are looking to change that. UCSD bioengineering professor Trey Ideker is pioneering a more accurate approach for predicting the risk of breast cancer metastasis in individual patients.

This work will be published online by the journal Molecular Systems Biology on Tuesday 16 October.

Distant metastases are the main cause of death among breast cancer patients, but physicians have a hard time predicting if a patients breast cancer is likely to spread.

The researchers from UCSD and the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology took advantage of new protein interaction databases and identified networks of genes from breast cancer patients rather than individual genes that can be used to predict whether a breast cancer tumor is likely to spread.

Their results offer new mechanistic insights into breast cancer metastasis and are more accurate and reproducible than two sets of individual marker genes currently used to help predict the likelihood that a patients breast cancer will spread.

Over the years, large numbers of women have endured unnecessarily harsh treatments, such as aggressive chemotherapy, due to our inability to predict metastasis risks with high accuracy. One of our goals is to improve this situation, said Trey Ideker, a bioengineering professor from the UCSD Jacobs School of Engineering and the senior author of the new study.

The next step is to confirm these results in other clinical trials. It will be absolutely crucial to confirm our findings on other patient data before we think too hard about bringing this technology to the clinic, Ideker said.

The new research may also help researchers discover disease-causing genes and more precisely clas
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Contact: Rex Graham
ragraham@ucsd.edu
858-822-3075
University of California - San Diego
Source:Eurekalert

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