Expanded DNA Testing Might Allow Personalized Breast Cancer Treatment

Published Online: February 07, 2014
Testing the entire genetic makeup -- or all the DNA -- of tumor cells from women with advanced breast cancer may help identify patients who could be helped by specific treatments, according to new research.

The approach is considered the wave of the future by both the French researchers who conducted the study and U.S. experts.

"It is possible to deliver personalized medicine," said study researcher Dr. Fabrice Andre, of the Gustave Roussy Institute in Villejuif, France. "Until now, we could [test] one gene in a large number of patients, or larger numbers of genes in a few patients."

In the new study, the researchers evaluated the whole genome -- the entire collection of a person's genes -- of more than 400 patients. The approach is much more extensive than testing for mutations in specific genes, such as the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genetic mutations known to raise the risk of breast cancer.

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Source: Philly.com