Washington: Researchers have uncovered possible genetic origins of breast cancer that spreads to the brain.
The compendium of genetic targets uncovered by TGen now can be used to identify potential new methods of diagnosis and new drug therapies for the estimated 45,000 patients in the U.S. each year whose cancer spreads from the breast to the brain.
The 3-year study is significant since these patients currently have few treatments options - surgery and radiation - and they usually are ineligible for clinical drug trials. Their prognosis is poor, with fewer than 2 percent surviving more than two years
Dr. Bodour Salhia, an Assistant Professor in TGen's Integrated Cancer Genomics Division and the study's lead and co-senior author, said that this is really a significant problem and a huge unmet need. We now want to dig deeper and uncover more specific genomic links and study new ways to treat these patients so we can improve outcomes.
The TGen team performed deep genomic profiling, integrating gene copy number, gene expression and DNA methylation datasets on a collection of 35 breast-brain metastases samples.
The study has been published in the scientific journal PLOS ONE.