Massimo Cristofanilli, MD, FACP, an internationally renowned breast cancer researcher and clinician, has been appointed Director of the Jefferson Breast Care Center at the Kimmel Cancer Center (KCC) and Thomas Jefferson University and Hospitals. With more than 25 years of clinical, basic science and educational experience, Cristofanilli will also serve as Deputy Director of Translational Research at the Kimmel Cancer Center.
Cristofanilli and colleagues concluded that the genomic tests MammaPrint® (Agendia) and BluePrint® (Agendia) which are designed to help oncologists better select the most effective therapy for individual patients. In a scientific poster presentation at the 2013 CTRC-AACR San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium (SABCS), which was held December 10 - 14, 2013 in San Antonio, Texas, researchers reported that molecular subtyping is superior to traditional, clinical pathology methods at classifying the nature of a woman's breast cancer and more precisely tailoring each patient's treatment.
Commenting on the research, Cristofanilli said: "We found that molecular subtyping is better than traditional methods for determining the exact biological nature of a woman's cancer and therefore what is the optimal course of treatment that will provide the best outcome for her. We're now using these genomic tests and molecular subtyping in our everyday clinical practice. One advantage of this approach is that we can better identify patients who would most benefit from chemotherapy, and also those who do not need to undergo chemotherapy."
For more information:
- Highlights rom the 36th SABCS, San Antonio, Texas, USA - December 10 - 14, 2013 - http://tinyurl.com/n2swuzf
- Breast Cancer Recurrence: 70-gene Prognostic Signature Predict Up to 25 Years High and Low Risk - adc.expert/1F6kDAM
A scientific poster and lunch symposium at the Miami Breast Cancer Conference will focus attention on genomic testing and molecular subtyping to refine breast cancer treatment.
The poster by Steven C. Shivers, PhD., Charles E. Cox, MD, et al. reports emerging data about molecular subtyping of early-stage breast cancer and patients' risk of disease recurrence. These new findings expand upon a scientific poster presented at the 2013 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.
The poster is titled "Molecular subtypes of cases discordant between risk classification assays in patients with ER+, N0-N1 breast cancer."
Cox is a well known breast surgeon and CEO at the University of South Florida's Breast Health Clinical and Research Integrated Strategic Program also chaired a lunchtime symposium the following day at noon, Friday, March 7, titled: "Molecular Subtypes: Clinical Implications for Breast Cancer Patients in Your Practice."
For more information also read the article: Breast Cancer Recurrence: 70-gene Prognostic Signature Predict Up to 25 Years High and Low Risk. (adc.expert/1F6kDAM)
A research study led by cancer specialists at MedStar Washington Hospital Center found that African-American women frequently present with biologically less favorable subtypes of breast cancer.
Researchers at the Hospital Center's Washington Cancer Institute analyzed the biology of breast cancer in 100 African-American women, using a method of genomic profiling. These genomic tests look at the expression of genes associated with the risk of recurrence in the population and further characterizes the biology of the tumor. The 70-gene MammaPrint test was used to determine the likelihood of a cancer recurrence. Out of the 100 patients, 66 women in the study were found to be high risk, meaning that their tumors had a higher risk of recurrence.
A companion BluePrint test was used to define the specific molecular subtype of each cancer. When classified by both genomic tests, African- American women with stage I to III breast cancer often presented with gene expression subtypes that were less favorable. The co-author of the research, Raquel Nunes, MD, a medical oncologist at the Washington Cancer Institute, presented the data as a scientific posterat the 50th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), held in Chicago, May 30 - June 3, 2014.
"It's important that research continues to address these issues comprehensively, from the biology of the disease to the development of optimal treatment and access to healthcare." Nunes said. "This work is particularly meaningful for us because it complements our interest in health disparities and highlights the enthusiastic participation of African-Americans in breast cancer research."
Unlike genetic tests such as those for BRCA genes (which are inherited and look at overall susceptibility for developing breast cancer), genomic tests look at the genes inside a breast cancer cell and how strongly they are expressed. The findings support prior research that has looked at the biologic characteristics of breast cancer in African-American women, but this specific methodology reported here was used for the first time in this population.
Cancer specialists will continue to follow the patients in the research study over the next five years to evaluate their survival with treatment, according to their gene profile.
Tamoxifen (Soltamox/Nolvadex®; AstraZeneca), an antagonist of the estrogen receptor α in ERα-positive breast cancer has been effective in most patients. The drug has been used for more than 40 years to treat breast cancers that are hormone-receptor positive. As an adjuvant therapy tamoxifen improves overall survival. Its widespread use is thought to have made a significant contribution to the reduction in breast cancer mortality seen over the last decade.  However, resistance to tamoxifen is a clinically significant problem.
So far, the mechanisms responsible for tamoxifen resistance remain elusive. Results from a study funded by the Dutch Cancer Society (KWF) published in Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research discusses a new approach that has the potential to be used in the clinic to predict which patients with estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer will benefit from tamoxifen therapy after surgery. 
“We have used a very innovative approach to identify genes that help foretell whether a patient will respond to tamoxifen, and we showed that this gene signature performed well in two large patient groups,” explained René Bernards, PhD, professor and head of the Division of Molecular Carcinogenesis at the Netherlands Cancer Institute (NKI) in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Read the full article: Breast Cancer Treatment Response to Tamoxifen Predicted by Gene Signature. Onco'Zine - The International Oncology Network. July 17, 2014. adc.expert/1p10Zyu
 Ring A, Dowsett M. Mechanisms of tamoxifen resistance. Endocr Relat Cancer. 2004 Dec;11(4):643-58.
 Oosterkamp HM, Hijmans EM, Brummelkamp TR, Canisius S, Wessels LF, Zwart W, Bernards R. USP9X Downregulation Renders Breast Cancer Cells Resistant to Tamoxifen. Cancer Res. 2014 Jul 15;74(14):3810-20. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-13-1960.
A study, part of the ongoing Neoadjuvant Breast Registry Symphony Trial, published in the August 2014 edition of the Annals of Surgical Oncology shows that BluePrint (Agendia Inc) proves to be superior to conventional subtyping for analyzing breast cancer before surgery.
Read the full article on Onco'Zine - The International Oncology Network adc.expert/1t2kjJU