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!
Study suggests possible new target for treating and preventing Alzheimer's
02.12.2016 | Oregon Health & Science University
The first analysis of Ewing's sarcoma methyloma opens doors to new treatments
01.12.2016 | IDIBELL-Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water
In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...
The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.
Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering
02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science
02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy