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New Genetic Advances in Breast Cancer Diagnosis

Study Could Pave the Way for Personalized Diagnosis and Treatment of Breast Cancer

The Future of Breast Cancer Diagnosis continued...

“We know it is not just one change that causes cancer, but changes on many different levels,” she says.

“What works for most doesn’t work for all and the new study helps move us closer toward the goal of personalizing breast cancer treatment,” she says.

There is no doubt that this is the wave of the future when it comes to breast cancer diagnosis and treatment, says Marisa Weiss, MD, president and founder of Breastcancer.org and the director of Breast Radiation Oncology. Weiss is also the director of Breast Health Outreach at Lankenau Hospital in Wynnewood, Pa.

“There is no one-size-fits-all treatment plan,” she says. “We need a treatment plan based specifically on the unique nature of the disease.”

Better pairing of treatments to tumors will also reduce the risk of side effects because treatments can spare healthy cells and instead focus only on cancer-causing cells, Weiss says.

“This study is exciting because it gives us a deeper FBI-style report on breast cancer and specifically hormone receptive positive breast cancer,” she says.

“Breast cancer is made up of many different cells and many genetic variants,” she says. “If all cells were identical, we would have cured this disease already.”

The new report “gets us one meaningful, but small step closer to decoding breast cancer,” she says. “We are finding out which genes are the culprits and the next step is to find the therapies that knock them out or get them to retain to normal function.”

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