From a study published in this month’s Nature about a cancer with greater than 1,300,000 cases and 450,000 deaths each year worldwide.
“We analysed primary breast cancers by genomic DNA copy number arrays, DNA methylation, exome sequencing, messenger RNA arrays, microRNA sequencing and reverse-phase protein arrays. Our ability to integrate information across platforms provided key insights into previously defined gene expression subtypes and demonstrated the existence of four main breast cancer classes when combining data from five platforms, each of which shows significant molecular heterogeneity.”
“Researchers and patient advocates caution that it will still take years to translate the new insights into transformative new treatments.”
“There are immediate therapeutic implications. The study gives a biologic reason to try some routine treatments for ovarian cancer instead of a common class of drugs used in breast cancer known as anthracyclines. Anthracyclines, Dr. Ellis said, “are the drugs most breast cancer patients dread because they are associated with heart damage and leukemia.” A new type of drug, PARP inhibitors, that seems to help squelch ovarian cancers, should also be tried in basal-like breast cancer, Dr. Ellis said. Basal-like cancers are most prevalent in younger women, in African-Americans and in women with breast cancer genes BRCA1 and BRCA2. “
Photo below from Nature article
a, Consensus clustering analysis of the subtypes identifies four major groups (samples, n = 348). The blue and white heat map displays sample consensus. b, Heat-map display of the subtypes defined independently by miRNAs, DNA methylation, copy number (CN), PAM50 mRNA expression, and RPPA expression. The red bar indicates membership of a cluster type. c, Associations with molecular and clinical features. P values were calculated using a chi-squared test.