Gene that Could Identify Tamoxifen-Resistant Breast Cancer Discovered

The study, published in PNAS, identified a gene whose expression could be used as a prognostic indicator and could direct treatment in breast cancer patients.

Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center identified a gene, MACROD2,

A study conducted by scientists at the which they found is amplified in a subset of breast cancer patients. Deletion and overexpression studies with the gene, in vitro and in a mouse model, found that MACROD2 promotes resistance to tamoxifen and encourages estrogen receptor-independent growth in a mouse xenograft model.

When they examined 2 well-known databases of breast cancer patients' genetic information, The Cancer Genome Atlas and the Molecular Taxonomy of Breast Cancer International Consortium study, it was discovered that patients who had MACROD2 overexpressed in primary breast cancers at the original breast cancer site had significantly worse survival rates than those who did not.

This could mean that patients overexpressing this gene in the primary tumor, early in the disease, could receive aggressive treatment.

The study was published online in PNAS: