Skooter reporting 04/20/12
As we currently call it breast cancer it should be thought of a 10 completely separate diseases which has been described as “landmark,” according to an international study.
The groupings could enhanced treatment by designing drugs for a patient's precise type of breast cancer and help foresee survival more accurately. The study in Nature analysed breast cancers from 2,000 women. The study results to be used in hospitals will take at least three years.
Research team described breast cancer like a map of the world. The tests currently used in hospitals they said, were quite extensive, dividing breast cancer up into the equivalent of continents. The latest study results give the breast cancer map further details, permitting someone to find individual “countries.”
Study team leader Prof. Carlos Caldas said that breast cancer is not one disease, but 10 different diseases. He further explained that their findings will lead the way for future doctors to diagnose the form of breast cancer a woman has, the types of drugs that will work and those that would not in a much more exact way than is currently possible.
Currently breast cancers are categorized by how they appear under the microscope and tests for "markers" on the tumors. For example those with “oestrogen receptors” should react to hormone therapies such as tamoxifen and those with a “Her2 receptor” can be treated with Herceptin.
More that 70% of the big majority of breast cancers, should respond to hormone therapies. But their reaction to treatment varies wildly. Prof Caldas said: "Some do well, some do horribly. Clearly we need better classification."