Gene Analysis And Breast Cancer Clues

The first comprehensive genetic analysis of breast cancer is reshaping our understanding of the disease, pointing the way to a cure.  We’ll get the latest.

Mobile Breast cancer screening unit. (AP)

Mobile Breast cancer screening unit. (AP)

The more we learn about cancer, the more we understand that cancer means – is – many different things.  Breast cancer by all means included.

On Sunday, the first comprehensive genetic analysis of breast cancer was published in the journal Nature.  Part of the Cancer Genome Atlas.  Mapping the different genetic changes that can turn cells cancerous.  Knowing the map means tailoring treatment and maybe, one day, we all hope, a cure.

Breast cancer kills 35,000 women a year in the US.  Now we’ve got a map.

This hour, On Point:  reading the genetic map of breast cancer.

-Tom Ashbrook


Victoria Colliver, health reporter at the San Francisco Chronicle

Dr. Charles Perou, geneticist at the University of North Carolina. He is co-author of the genetic study. Findings are published online in the journal Nature.

Dr Judy Garber, breast oncologist and director of the Center for Cancer Genetics and Prevention at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute

From Tom’s Reading List

New York Times “‘This is the road map for how we might cure breast cancer in the future,’ said Dr. Matthew Ellis of Washington University, a researcher for the study.”

Nature “The integrated molecular analyses of breast carcinomas that we report here significantly extends our knowledge base to produce a comprehensive catalogue of likely genomic drivers of the most common breast cancer subtypes.”

San Francisco Chronicle “The finding that a form of breast cancer may be genetically similar to a type of ovarian cancer underscores a new way of thinking about cancer that moves away from defining cancers by the organ of origin.”

C Segment — Castration and Lifespan


Florian Maderspacher, senior editor at Current Biology

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