Austrian scientists challenge the clinical relevance of the term “basal-like” breast cancer subtype. Not all breast cancers are the same. Different types can mean different prognoses for the patient, and a different kind of treatment may be adequate. But how to classify tumors? Are molecular classification methods reliable?
Mohammad Ali Lavasani and Farid Moinfar from the Unit of Breast and Gynecologic Pathology at the Medical University of Graz, Austria give a critical review of the literature with focus on “basal-like” carcinoma.
The conventional clinicopathological parameters such as histologic grade, nuclear grade, tumor size, involvement of axillary lymph nodes, etc., all have been successfully correlated to prognosis of patients with breast carcinoma. Yet, the current prognostic and/or predictive factors have significant limitations in distinguishing breast cancer patients who could benefit from (neo)adjuvant chemotherapy from those who do not need any additional treatment.
Indeed, it has been suggested that almost 70% of patients with breast cancer receiving chemotherapy or antihormonal therapy would have survived without such treatments, as Lavasani and Moinfar state in their review.
With the introduction of complementary DNA (cDNA) and oligonucleotide microarrays in the 1990s, the increasing application of these high-throughput biotechnologies, and significant improvement in bioinformatic analyses a new era began: Genome-wide approaches were used to prognostify and predict outcome in patients with breast cancer. During the last 11 years, 5 molecular subtypes of breast carcinoma (luminal A, luminal B, Her2-positive, basal-like, and normal breast-like) have been characterized and intensively studied. As genomic research evolves, further subtypes of breast cancers into new “molecular entities” are expected to occur. For example, a new and rare breast cancer subtype, known as claudin-low, has been recently found.
“There is no doubt that global gene expression analyses using high-throughput biotechnologies have drastically improved our understanding of breast cancer as a heterogeneous disease”, say Lavasani and Moinfar. “The main question is, however, whether new molecular techniques such as gene expression profiling (or signature) should be regarded as the gold standard for identifying breast cancer subtypes.” When reviewing the literature, the two scientists discovered major problems with current molecular techniques and classification including poor definitions, lack of reproducibility, and lack of quality control. They conclude: “The current molecular approaches cannot be incorporated into routine clinical practice and treatment decision making as they are immature or even can be misleading.”
The “basal-like” breast cancer subtype represents one of the most popular breast cancer “entities”. However, the authors revealed some major problems and misconceptions with and about this subtype and denote the term “basal-like” as misleading. They come to the conclusion that there is no evidence that expression of basal-type cytokeratins in a given breast cancer, regardless of other established prognostic factors, does have any impact on clinical outcome. Lavasani and Moinfar are convinced that these so-called basal-like carcinomas do not reflect a single, biologically uniform group of breast cancers. Indeed, they show significant variations in their phenotypes, grades, immunoprofiles, and clinical outcomes. (Text by K. Maedefessel-Herrmann)
M. A. Lavasani and F. Moinfar, J. Biophotonics 5(4), 345-366 (2012); http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jbio.201100097
Journal of Biophotonics publishes cutting edge research on interactions between light and biological material. The journal is highly interdisciplinary, covering research in the fields of life sciences, medicine, physics, chemistry, and enginieering. The scope extends from basic research to clinical applications. Connecting scientists who try to understand basic biological processes using light as a diagnostic and therapeutic tool, the journal offers a platform where the physicist communicates with the biologist and where the clinical practitioner learns about the latest tools for diagnosis of diseases. JBP offers fast publication times: down to 20 days from acceptance to publication. Latest Journal Impact Factor (2010): 4.240 (ISI Journal Citation Reports 2010)Regina Hagen
Modern genetic sequencing tools give clearer picture of how corals are related
17.08.2017 | University of Washington
The irresistible fragrance of dying vinegar flies
16.08.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für chemische Ökologie
Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.
As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...
Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.
Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...
For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.
While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...
An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.
The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...
A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...
16.08.2017 | Event News
04.08.2017 | Event News
26.07.2017 | Event News
17.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
17.08.2017 | Earth Sciences
17.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy