05:05am Thursday 20 February 2020

New breast cancer classification based on epigenetics

Image of a breast tumor identified as Epi-Luminal B of poor prognosis.


The identification of patients with high-risk breast cancer is key to know whether a patient will require only the removal of the tumor by surgery or whether if she will need additional chemotherapy to make sure the removal of breast cancer cells. Currently, known genetic mutations and expression patterns are determined, but the puzzle of the genetics of the disease remains a large unfinished part. A study, recently published in the journal Molecular Oncology, has established the epigenetic patterns of breast cancer and also its clinical consequences. Research team was headed by Manel Esteller, professor in the Department of Genetics at the University of Barcelona (UB) and ICREA research professor at the Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBELL).

“We have analyzed epigenetic alterations, namely the chemical signal called DNA methylation, in 500 breast tumors and compared the patterns obtained with the clinical behavior of these cancers”, explains Esteller, who received the VI National Oncology Award conferred by the Echevarne Foundation.


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