Mayo Clinic researchers have announced that two new genes found with breast tumors can predict the outcomes of the cancer with a faire degree of accuracy. In the report appearing in he April 1 issue of Clinical Cancer Research, they say that these genes could help identify women at risk for an early relapse of breast cancer.
"The HOXB13 and IL17BR gene profile was previously discovered as a potential marker of relapse in hormone-receptor positive breast cancer treated with tamoxifen," said Matthew Goetz, M.D., who co-led the project with James Ingle, M.D. and Fergus Couch, Ph.D. "Our new study shows that the marker is only useful for identifying women with a higher risk in the setting of lymph node-negative breast cancer." The study, which was a joint effort from researchers at Mayo Clinic, Harvard Medical School and Arcturus Bioscience. They monitored the gene expression in 206 postmenopausal women who were participating in the North Central Cancer Treatment Group (NCCTG).. It was found that the 2-gene expression ratio was also an independent marker for the disease. "We believe that these findings are clinically important and corroborate the accumulating laboratory data which suggests that the HOXB13 gene is critically involved in breast cancer metastases," said Dr. Goetz. "Further research is needed to determine whether more aggressive or additional treatments will improve the outcomes of women identified to be at high risk by means of this marker."
Contact: Elizabeth Zimmermann