Molecular profiling of breast cancer: clinical implications

Publication Name: British Journal of Cancer

Author(s): S Cleator, A Ashworth

Breast cancers are routinely subcategorised on the basis of clinical stage, cellular morphology and immunohistochemical analysis of a small number of markers. The recent development of gene expression microarray and related technologies provides an opportunity to perform more detailed profiling of the disease. It is anticipated that the molecular classification arising from such studies will be more powerful than its pathological predecessor at confining treatment to those patients who are most likely to benefit. It is likely that this will result in a much less frequent use of adjuvant chemotherapy. Furthermore, of those who do receive it, a higher proportion will benefit. If adopted, this will offer considerable patient benefits in terms of reducing unnecessary toxicity and have major health economic implications.

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