Researchers have developed a novel method that uses DNA breakpoint data to differentiate between breast cancer recurrences and new primary tumors.
There are two common methods used for such analysis - one is to detect changes in DNA copy number and another is to compare clinical and pathologic characteristics of the two tumors.
Marc Bollet, M.D., of the Institut Curie in Paris and colleagues compared these commonly used methods with a new method that uses DNA breakpoint data by evaluating their capability to differentiate between breast cancer recurrence and new primary tumors in 22 breast cancer patients.
However, all the three methods were successful in identifying whether the tumor was a new primary tumor or a recurrence, for 14 women.
The DNA breakpoints method more often agreed with the clinical and pathologic method than that of the DNA copy number method.
This method was also a step ahead of the clinical method in order to find out the likelihood of metastasis.
It was concluded that DNA breakpoints could prove to be superior in determining the nature of the breast cancer recurrence than clinical and pathologic characteristics or DNA copy number information.
The study was published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute