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Gene alteration offers breast cancer treatment advance

University of Toronto

A study of breast cancer treatment has found that gene alternations can be linked to improved patient success rates.

The study was published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute yesterday (April 28th) and shows that after anthracycline-based therapy, when compared with non-anthracycline-based treatment, patient responses were better.

Improvements were similar to those witnessed in patients with the HER2 gene dominance in their tumour.

According to research scientists, the improved response could be explained by changes in the TOP2A gene, which is a target of anthracycline.

This theory has been explored by a team led by Dr Kathleen Pritchard of the University of Toronto and conducted with the National Cancer Institute of Canada Clinical Trials Group.

"Our data suggest that measurements of TOP2A alteration and HER2 amplification appear to have similar value in guiding the selection of anthracycline-containing regimens", stated the research team.

Anthracycline is made up a number of drugs used in chemotherapy cancer treatment and is extracted from the Streptomyces bacteria.

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Cancer treatment news : 29/04/2009