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Medical News & Perspectives
February 6, 2013

Genetic Studies Provide New Insights Into Breast Cancer Biology and Treatment

JAMA. 2013;309(5):427-429. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.196394

Knowing that genetic alterations lie at the heart of cancer development and progression, researchers in the breast cancer field have been successfully using genetics to determine risk, make cancer diagnoses, characterize tumors, predict prognoses, and tailor treatment. Some of the latest findings were presented at the recent2012 CTRC-AACR (Cancer Therapy and Research Center–American Association for Cancer Research) San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.

Assessing epigenetic changes (alterations in gene expression that do not involve changes in DNA sequence), such as the addition of methyl groups to DNA, may aid in the accurate diagnosis and monitoring of patients with metastatic breast cancer, according to researchers at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore.