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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.

Breast Conservation

It’s something many don’t know – federal law mandates insurance companies cover reconstruction after breast conservation surgery. Find out more in this "Cancer Connection" podcast with Terry Myckatyn, MD, Washington University plastic and reconstructive surgeon at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital. More information about lumpectomy after breast cancer.

 
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