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Unmasking High-Risk Breast Tumors

A unique genetic signature can alert physicians to high-risk breast tumors that masquerade as low-risk tumors, according to research at the Siteman Cancer Center and collaborating national cancer centers. Although these tumors appear to be estrogen-receptor-positive – meaning they should depend on the hormone estrogen to grow – they don’t respond well to anti-estrogen therapy. “These tumors are like wolves in sheep’s clothing,” says Matthew Ellis, MB, BChir, PhD, a Washington University medical oncologist at Siteman.

A clinical test for the high-risk gene signature will be widely available soon. The test, Ellis says, will help physicians identify women who would benefit from more aggressive treatment suited to this tumor type.

Breakthroughs in Breast Cancer

Breast cancer treatment is moving toward more patient specific therapies thanks to research at Siteman Cancer Center. Find out more in this new episode of "Real Science, Real Innovation."

 

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