Researchers from McGill University’s Rosalind and Morris Goodman Cancer Research Centre (GCRC), the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI MUHC), the Dana–Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School have discovered a gene signature that can accurately predict which breast cancer patients are at risk of relapse, thereby sparing those who are not from the burdens associated with unnecessary treatment.
For years, clinicians have been faced with the problem that breast cancer cannot be treated with a one-size-fits-all approach. Some cancers respond to specific treatments while others do not. Close to 50 per cent of breast cancer patients belong to a group – defined as "estrogen receptor positive/lymph node negative (ER+/LR-)"– that is at low risk of relapse. The majority of patients in this group may not require any treatment beyond the surgical removal of their tumour, while a small minority should receive additional treatment.
“The added information provided by our test would enable oncologists to identify those at very low risk of relapse, for whom the risk-benefit ratio might be in favour of withholding chemotherapy, and to identify patients in this low-risk group who would benefit from more aggressive treatments,” explains Dr. Alain Nepveu, GCRC and RI MUHC researcher and co-author of the study. “Since many treatments are associated with short- and long-term complications including premature menopause, cardiotoxicity and the development of secondary cancers, risks must be balanced against the potential benefit for each patient to avoid unnecessary suffering, needless expense and added burdens on the health-care system.”
While more research is required before the test would be ready for market and incorporated into existing diagnostic procedures, Nepveu suggests it has the potential to be commercialized within five years.
Aside from Nepveu, authors include Laurent Sansregret (GCRC and McGill’s Dept. of Biochemistry; currently at Cancer Research UK London Research Institute); Charles Vadnais (GCRC and McGill’s Dept. of Biochemistry); Julie Livingstone (GCRC and McGill Centre for Bioinformatics); Nicholas Kwiatkowski (Department of Cancer Biology, Dana–Farber Cancer Institute and Dept. of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, Harvard Medical School); Arif Awan (GCRC and McGill’s Dept. of Biochemistry); Chantal Cadieux (GCRC and McGill’s Dept. of Biochemistry); Lam Leduy (GCRC) and Michael T. Hallett (GCRC and McGill Centre for Bioinformatics).
These findings were published in a recent issue the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS). For the abstract, please visit: www.pnas.org/content/early/2011/01/14/1008403108.short
Allison Flynn | EurekAlert!
Team discovers how bacteria exploit a chink in the body's armor
20.01.2017 | University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Rabies viruses reveal wiring in transparent brains
19.01.2017 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn
An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...
Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...
Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...
Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales
Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...
Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.
As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...
19.01.2017 | Event News
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
20.01.2017 | Awards Funding
20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences
20.01.2017 | Life Sciences