Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Proteomics
Scientific Community
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

Researchers Identify Seven Types of Breast Cancer

Published: Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Last Updated: Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Bookmark and Share
The discovery could lead to new and improved prognostic tests for patients with the disease.

The findings, reported in the British Journal of Cancer, could revolutionise the way in which breast cancer patients are treated by giving clinicians more detailed information about a patient’s breast cancer type and helping them create a more personalised treatment plan, avoiding over or under-treatment.

The research, funded by Breast Cancer Campaign, was led by Dr Andy Green in the University’s Division of Oncology, in collaboration with colleagues at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust and Nottingham Trent University.

Dr Green said: “With an increasing number of treatment options available for breast cancer patients, decision making regarding the choice of the most appropriate treatment method is becoming increasingly complex. Improvements in care and outcome for patients with breast cancer will involve improved targeting of effective therapies to appropriate patients.

“Equally important should be improvement in parallel strategies to avoid unnecessary or inappropriate treatment and side effects.”

Affordable test 
Breast cancer is a biologically complex disease and each tumour can have very different properties, so the more information that doctors have about each patient’s cancer, the better they can plan treatments. Currently just two proteins are tested for as standard in breast cancer cells (known as biomarkers): the oestrogen receptor (ER), and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2), alongside information about the tumour size, spread and grade[1],[2],[3].

Dr Green and colleagues, who also included Professor Ian Ellis in the Division of Oncology and Jon Garibaldi and Daniele Soria in the University’s School of Computer Science, wanted to see if, by testing for more biomarkers, but keeping the number of biomarkers as low as possible to make an affordable test a realistic proposition, they could devise categories that better reflect the diversity of breast cancer and, importantly, better predict how a patient’s cancer is likely to progress.

Using tissue that now forms part of the Breast Cancer Campaign Tissue Bank, the team tested 1073 tumour samples and from these, 997 (93%) fitted perfectly into one of seven classes, whereas 76 (7%) had mixed characteristics and couldn’t be put into a distinct category. They then verified these classes in another 238 tumour samples.

The seven classes are defined by different combinations and levels of ten biomarkers found in breast cancer cells. These biomarkers include ER and HER2, the two biomarkers currently tested for in clinics, but also others that are not currently tested for, such as p53, cytokeratins, HER3 and HER4.

Improved survival
To test whether the new classes could give doctors more information about prognosis, Dr Green’s team compared the classes to survival outcomes from the patient samples. Each of the seven classes was found to have its own unique survival outcome. This indicates that the classes can tell us more about prognosis and help doctors to fine-tune treatment plans to improve survival.

Importantly, the technology required to measure protein biomarkers in tumour samples is already in place in most pathology laboratories across the UK, whereas newly developed genetic profiling tests such as Oncotype DX need to be sent to specialist laboratories, which brings additional costs.

With further support including from the Medical Research Council and the University of Nottingham, Dr Green and his colleagues, together with Nottingham Prognostics Limited, have now developed a diagnostic test using these seven distinct classes, which could be ready for use in the clinic in as little as two years. The test, called the Nottingham Prognostic Index Plus (NPI+), integrates the seven new classes into the existing Nottingham Prognostic Index test currently used by pathologists to assess information about tumour size, spread and grade.

Baroness Delyth Morgan, Chief Executive of Breast Cancer Campaign said, “The days of one size fits all treatment are well and truly in the past. We need to ensure the life-saving and life-extending treatments we already have in the clinic are used more effectively – directing the right treatments to those who will benefit, and sparing others from unnecessary side effects, so that by 2050 we can achieve our ambition to overcome breast cancer.

“This new test could be a realistic step towards making the holy grail of personalised treatment a reality, offering hope to the 50,000 women diagnosed with breast cancer in the UK every year.

“Improved prognostic tests, such as NPI+, will be essential pieces of kit for our diagnostic toolbox. We look forward to seeing the results from external validation studies using cases from the UK, USA and Europe and hope that a subsequent feasibility study will allow this exciting work to be fast-tracked into the clinic.”


Further Information

Join For Free

Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 2,900+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 4,200+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters


Sign In



Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into TechnologyNetworks.com you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.


Scientific News
Natural Protein Points to New Inflammation Treatment
Findings may offer insight to effective treatments for inflammatory diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, and multiple sclerosis.
Natural Protein Points to New Inflammation Treatment
Findings may offer insight to effective treatments for inflammatory diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, and multiple sclerosis.
Enzyme Links Age-Related Inflammation, Cancer
Researchers have shown that an enzyme key to regulating gene expression -- and also an oncogene when mutated -- is critical for the expression of numerous inflammatory compounds that have been implicated in age-related increases in cancer and tissue degeneration.
New Biomarker to Assess Stem Cells Developed
A research team led by scientists from UCL have found a way to assess the viability of 'manufactured' stem cells known as induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). The team's discovery offers a new way to fast-track screening methods used in stem cell research.
Therapy Halts Progression of Lou Gehrig’s Disease
Researchers at Oregon State University announced today that they have essentially stopped the progression of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig’s disease, for nearly two years in one type of mouse model used to study the disease – allowing the mice to approach their normal lifespan.
Crouching Protein, Hidden Enzyme
A new study led by scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) and the University of California (UC), Berkeley shows how a crucial molecular enzyme starts in a tucked-in somersault position and flips out when it encounters the right target.
HIV Protein Manipulates Hundreds of Human Genes
Findings search for new or improved treatments for patients with AIDS.
First 3-D Vision of Cancer Target
This basic research set the grounds for structure-based drug design approaches that could be beneficial for cancer treatments' - Dr. Cyril Dominguez, University of Leicester.
New Light Shed on Genetic Regulation
A team of scientists has uncovered greater intricacy in protein signaling than was previously understood, shedding new light on the nature of genetic production.
Hacking the Programs of Cancer Stem Cells
All tumor cells are the offspring of a single, aberrant cell, but they are not all alike.
Scroll Up
Scroll Down
SELECTBIO

Skyscraper Banner
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
 
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
2,900+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
4,200+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FOR FREE!