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
New type of photosynthesis discovered
17.06.2018 | Imperial College London
New ID pictures of conducting polymers discover a surprise ABBA fan
17.06.2018 | University of Warwick
Moving into its fourth decade, AchemAsia is setting out for new horizons: The International Expo and Innovation Forum for Sustainable Chemical Production will take place from 21-23 May 2019 in Shanghai, China. With an updated event profile, the eleventh edition focusses on topics that are especially relevant for the Chinese process industry, putting a strong emphasis on sustainability and innovation.
Founded in 1989 as a spin-off of ACHEMA to cater to the needs of China’s then developing industry, AchemAsia has since grown into a platform where the latest...
The BMBF-funded OWICELLS project was successfully completed with a final presentation at the BMW plant in Munich. The presentation demonstrated a Li-Fi communication with a mobile robot, while the robot carried out usual production processes (welding, moving and testing parts) in a 5x5m² production cell. The robust, optical wireless transmission is based on spatial diversity; in other words, data is sent and received simultaneously by several LEDs and several photodiodes. The system can transmit data at more than 100 Mbit/s and five milliseconds latency.
Modern production technologies in the automobile industry must become more flexible in order to fulfil individual customer requirements.
An international team of scientists has discovered a new way to transfer image information through multimodal fibers with almost no distortion - even if the fiber is bent. The results of the study, to which scientist from the Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology Jena (Leibniz IPHT) contributed, were published on 6thJune in the highly-cited journal Physical Review Letters.
Endoscopes allow doctors to see into a patient’s body like through a keyhole. Typically, the images are transmitted via a bundle of several hundreds of optical...
Light detection and control lies at the heart of many modern device applications, such as smartphone cameras. Using graphene as a light-sensitive material for...
Water molecules exist in two different forms with almost identical physical properties. For the first time, researchers have succeeded in separating the two forms to show that they can exhibit different chemical reactivities. These results were reported by researchers from the University of Basel and their colleagues in Hamburg in the scientific journal Nature Communications.
From a chemical perspective, water is a molecule in which a single oxygen atom is linked to two hydrogen atoms. It is less well known that water exists in two...
13.06.2018 | Event News
08.06.2018 | Event News
05.06.2018 | Event News
15.06.2018 | Materials Sciences
15.06.2018 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation
15.06.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering