Investigators at Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center have identified if genetics and other factors can determine if a woman is at risk of recurrence of breast cancer. The finding provides new research to prevent the development of a new tumor.
Importantly, an advanced technology developed at Georgetown Lombardi allowed laboratory researchers to increase the number of hard-to-extract breast tissue cells in large numbers.
The findings appeared in the April 22 edition of Scientific Reports.
The researchers examined breast epithelial cells in detail, which are layer of cells that form the ducts and lobes to produce milk during lactation. The study involved extracting the cells from donated non-cancerous tissue removed during a mastectomy.
The study involved investigating numerous factors that could kick-start recurrence. However, the main objective was entire collection of RNA sequences in a cell that helps determine when and where each gene is turned off or on.
Meanwhile, despite advancement in surgical techniques, undetectable microscopic pieces of tumor can remain and is one factor for recurrence if breast cancer in up to 15 percent of women. This is sometimes years after surgery, and women with hormone-receptor positive breast cancer have highest risk of occurrence.
The analysis of expanded epithelial cells obtained from women who had chemotherapy before than surgery found significant alteration in RNA. In particular, researchers witnessed significant changes in genes that had previously been discovered as prognostic indicators of cancer.
Clinically, the diagnosis of breast cancer involves use of several tools including testing for genes such as BRCA1/2. The testing of genes for treatment of breast cancer assists to decide if certain kinds of chemotherapy need to be administered or of only hormonal therapy wiould suffice.