SAN FRANCISCO, March 14 – For breast cancer survivors, the risk of recurrent tumors sheds a long shadow with the possibility of return for up to two decades after diagnosis.But new research can help identify and treat the most at risk.
Physicians have traditionally relied on factors such as size and class of a tumor in diagnosis, lymph nodes and a patient's age to determine their risk of relapse.
However, the rate at which breast cancer occurs and why it does, remains "poorly understood", according to the study published in the newspaper Nature .
seek to change what the scientists turned to data from over 3.00 0 breast cancer patients diagnosed in the UK and Canada between 1977 and 2005.
Nearly 2,000 of the cases included molecular data on the cancers giving detailed information to researchers. the tumors.
The data was used to develop a computer model that identified four subgroups of "extremely high risk of delayed relapse", says senior author Christina Curtis, co-opted professor of medicine and genetics at Stanford University.
"It's the patients who are still in danger of experiencing a relapse after their initial diagnosis," she told AFP.
The study showed that about 25 percent of women with the most diagnosed form of breast cancer have a 42-55 percent risk of seeing their cancer back in two decades.
"It is the women who seem to be cured, but then they have systemic illness many years later," Curtis said in a press release issued by Stanford University.
"U Until now, there has been no good way to identify this subset of women who could benefit from ongoing screening or treatment."
The study also opens up potential new avenues for further treatment of breast cancer patients by identifying gene changes. in each of the four risk groups. These changes or mutations result in problems with signaling that can cause unwanted cell growth. And it can again burn the formation of tumors or their progression.
"Many of these genomic driver changes could potentially be therapeutically targeted, suggesting the possibility of new treatment options, although this should be evaluated in clinical trials," Curtis told AFP.
The study also reveals when and where in the body breast cancer can metastasize and found a group of patients with so-called triple-negative tumors whose cancer is unlikely to return after five years.  "This information can be used to clarify risk assessments and improve follow-up and layering of patients with breast cancer – for example, by determining which patients may benefit from longer or different types of treatment," Curtis says.
The researchers warned that their data sets contain decades ago, which meant that patients could not access more recently developed d and approved treatments.
Some of these treatments have significantly improved the survival rate of patients with certain types of breast cancer.
But the results still have to mean that doctors more accurately predict which of their patients are most at risk of seeing their cancer back.
The team has even developed an online "breast cancer recurrence predictor" tool for doctors using their model.
Curtis said the researchers are now pursuing a clinical trial of treatment options that will target the genomic defects of patients most prone to cancer. – AFP-Relaxnews