Can High Risk Breast Cancer Recurrence Patients be Identified?

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A new study published in the journal Clinical Epigenetics concluded that a new simple blood test might be able to determine the risk of recurrence, or the cancer invading other organs such as the lungs, bone or brain for women successfully treated for breast cancer. Researchers identified 21 DNA hypermethylation hotspots–gene locations along the 3 billion chemical bases of DNA–with increased levels of methylation that could indicate the existence of metastatic cancer.  They said “These findings could lead to a highly sensitive blood-based test panel–a type of liquid biopsy–which could help improve the care of women with breast cancer.” They said further “This 21-gene signature is a potential biomarker that could indicate patients who are at high risk of cancer recurrence, either in the breast or elsewhere in the body, and who might benefit from additional therapy to eliminate the potential of recurrence.” In this study the 21 genes that were differentially methylated were consistently higher in patients with metastatic breast cancer when compared with levels in healthy individuals and cancer free survivors.

 

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