Breast cancer redefined

12 May 2012


A joint team of researchers from the UK and Canada have rewritten the rule book on defining different types of breast cancer, publishing their findings in the journal Nature this month. Led by Professor Carlos Caldas from the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Research Institute, the scientists carried out detailed analysis of the genetic fingerprints of 2,000 breast tumours and found they grouped into ten distinct categories. Currently doctors only recognise four broad categories of breast cancer, but these new results help to explain why women who seem to have the same type of cancer respond differently to treatment. It will be some years before the fruits of this research filter into routine treatment, but the team hopes that their findings will start to be applied in clinical research by stratifying women taking part in breast cancer trials straight away.


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