Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Immature and misleading

12.04.2012
Are modern molecular classification methods for breast carcinomas reasonable?

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
Journal Publishing Manager | Editorial Physics Department
Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA
Rotherstr. 21, 10245 Berlin, Germany
Fon: +49 (0) 30/ 47 03 13 21
Fax: +49 (0) 30/ 47 03 13 99
E-Mail: regina.hagen@wiley.com

Lavasani and F. Moinfar | Wiley-VCH
Further information:
http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jbio.201100097
http://www.wiley.com

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Mass spectrometry sheds new light on thallium poisoning cold case
14.12.2018 | University of Maryland

nachricht Protein involved in nematode stress response identified
14.12.2018 | University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Data use draining your battery? Tiny device to speed up memory while also saving power

The more objects we make "smart," from watches to entire buildings, the greater the need for these devices to store and retrieve massive amounts of data quickly without consuming too much power.

Millions of new memory cells could be part of a computer chip and provide that speed and energy savings, thanks to the discovery of a previously unobserved...

Im Focus: An energy-efficient way to stay warm: Sew high-tech heating patches to your clothes

Personal patches could reduce energy waste in buildings, Rutgers-led study says

What if, instead of turning up the thermostat, you could warm up with high-tech, flexible patches sewn into your clothes - while significantly reducing your...

Im Focus: Lethal combination: Drug cocktail turns off the juice to cancer cells

A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth – this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in “Cell Reports”, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.

The widely used anti-diabetes drug metformin not only reduces blood sugar but also has an anti-cancer effect. However, the metformin dose commonly used in the...

Im Focus: New Foldable Drone Flies through Narrow Holes in Rescue Missions

A research team from the University of Zurich has developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters.

Inspecting a damaged building after an earthquake or during a fire is exactly the kind of job that human rescuers would like drones to do for them. A flying...

Im Focus: Topological material switched off and on for the first time

Key advance for future topological transistors

Over the last decade, there has been much excitement about the discovery, recognised by the Nobel Prize in Physics only two years ago, that there are two types...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

ICTM Conference 2019: Digitization emerges as an engineering trend for turbomachinery construction

12.12.2018 | Event News

New Plastics Economy Investor Forum - Meeting Point for Innovations

10.12.2018 | Event News

EGU 2019 meeting: Media registration now open

06.12.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Data use draining your battery? Tiny device to speed up memory while also saving power

14.12.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Tangled magnetic fields power cosmic particle accelerators

14.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

In search of missing worlds, Hubble finds a fast evaporating exoplanet

14.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>