Update on clinical trials: Genetic targets in breast cancer

Bora Lim, Leah Cream, Harold Harvey

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

7 Scopus citations


Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women in United States. From data of American Cancer Society from 2007 reported total of 178,480 women diagnosed with breast cancer. The death rate from breast cancer has decreased in North America over time, but still accounts for second highest cancer death, following lung cancer. Breast cancer is staged based on tumor size, nodal involvement, and distant metastasis like any other solid tumors. However clinical staging is not the only important factor in management of breast cancer. Various molecular features divides breast cancer into many subgroups - that act differently, and respond differently from therapy. Thus the focus of breast cancer treatment has evolved focusing on specific targets. The most important biologic markers in subtyping of breast cancer so far are hormone receptor positivity and HER2/neu protein expression. Five molecular subtypes using intrinsic gene set include Basal mRNA, HER2 + mRNA, Luminal AmRNA, Luminal B mRNA, and Normal-like mRNA. In addition, better understanding of genetic target of breast cancer has given us arsenal of personalized, and more effective treatment approach. This review will focus on examples that highlight several mechanism of tumorigenesis, giving us not just understanding of gene pathways and the molecular biology, that could lead us to therapeutic target. Several important molecular targets have been investigated in preclinical and clinical trials, others are yet to be explored. We will also describe genetic mechanisms discovery related to overcoming resistance to current targeted therapies in breast cancer, including hormone receptor expression and HER 2- neu amplification. We will also review other exciting developments in understanding of breast cancer, the tumor microenvironment and cancer stem cells, and targeting agents in that area.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationImpact of Genetic Targets on Cancer Therapy
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media, LLC
Number of pages20
ISBN (Print)9781461461753
StatePublished - 2013

Publication series

NameAdvances in Experimental Medicine and Biology
ISSN (Print)0065-2598

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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