A look into…Breast Cancer

Breast Cancer is a type of cancer originating from breast tissue. It is the most frequently diagnosed cancer in women, with 80% of cases in women over 50; however, a small number of males can also develop the disease. A woman can be diagnosed with breast cancer through the use of mammogram and biopsy to test if tissue cells within the breast are cancerous. Lymph node biopsy and dissection is used to see if the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes in the armpit which allows the cancer to be staged. Additionally, hormone and protein receptor tests are carried out to determine the nature of the breast cancer in order to formulate the most effective treatment.

Recent research has shown that an enzyme, lysyl oxidase, could be helping breast cancers that are non-responsive to oestrogen to spread into bones, by ‘drilling holes’ into which the tumor can then infiltrate. Researchers hope to use an existing drug, used to treat osteoporosis sufferers, to inhibit the enzyme and prevent the spread of cancer to the bones.

Whether or not breast cancer cells have hormone or protein receptors (HER2 positive) or are triple negative (have none) is vital information in treating and tailoring drugs for the patient. With the Epiomic™ database, the patient population is not only sub-divided by the presence of hormone and protein receptors, but also the location of the tumor, stage, histopathology, intrinsic subtype, laterality and gene mutations (BRCA1 and BRCA2). This useful tool presents the disease in great detail and therefore gives a deep understanding of the market landscape.

Quick Fact

Did you know ... In the USA, one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime.