Paper of the Month - June, 2012

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The genomic and transcriptomic architecture of 2,000 breast tumours reveals novel subgroups.

Curtis C, Shah SP, Chin SF et al.; METABRIC Group.
Since the use of estrogen receptor (ER) expression to define ER-positive and ER-negative breast cancers, it has been clear that breast cancer is not a single disease and therefore requires different modalities of treatment. The discovery of HER2 overexpression in a proportion of breast cancers had a major impact on the treatment of these cancers, which before the introduction of trastuzumab had an extremely poor prognosis. The classification of breast cancer into five subtypes by their transcriptional profiling that were associated with different clinical outcomes opened doors for the personalization of treatment. The current study, recently published in Nature, goes further in classifying breast cancers and identifies ten subgroups showing different clinical outcomes. The data reported greatly increase our understanding of breast biology.


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