Published on April 4th, 2012 | by Steven Hodson0
“Triple Negative” Breast Cancer Being Treated All Wrong Suggest Doctors
Breast cancer is horrible enough but probably like most men I didn’t realize that there are different types of breat cancer with the worst one being triple negative breast cancer. It apparently is incredibly hard to treat with the treatments currently being used which means doctors typically have to resort to using chemotherapy.
Doctors have discovered, through the largest ever genetic analysis of these types of tumors which was done by sequencing the DNA of 100 triple negative tumors, that the tumors are vastly different. This of course means that the doctors will need to treat them differently.
“Seeing these tumors at a molecular level has taught us we’re dealing with a continuum of different types of breast cancer here, not just one,” said Steven Jones, a co-author of the study, which is published today in the journal Nature. Jones is a molecular biology and biochemistry professor who leads bioinformatics research at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, Canada. “These findings prove the importance of personalizing cancer drug treatment so that it targets the genetic make up of a particular tumour rather than presuming one therapy can treat multiple, similar-looking tumours.”
Triple negative breast cancer tumors are characterized by a lack of progesterone, estrogen, and herceptin receptors on the surface of the cells, which is a trio of a hormone, a steroid, and a protein that is vital for the tumor’s reaction to drug therapies.
What doctors hope for now with this new knowledge is that they will be able to make tailor-made treatments that will work based on the patients’ genetic mutations.