New Breast Cancer Study Underscores Importance of Validating Clinical Findings

Investigators tried to validate a previously reported molecular finding on triple negative breast cancer that many hoped would lead to targeted treatments for the aggressive disease. Instead, they discovered that the findings were limited to a single patient and could not be applied to further clinical work.

Weill Cornell Medical College investigators tried to validate a previously reported molecular finding on triple negative breast cancer that many hoped would lead to targeted treatments for the aggressive disease. Instead, they discovered that the findings were limited to a single patient and could not be applied to further clinical work. This discovery, published April 15 in Nature, amends the earlier work and underscores the importance of independent study validation and careful assay development.

The earlier -- and now dispelled -- study, published in Nature in June 2012 by researchers at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, found a gene fusion in a small but significant number of tumor samples from patients with triple negative breast cancer, a particularly deadly subtype that often has few treatment options. The original research team concluded that MAGI3-AKT3 fusion could offer a new molecular target to use for drug development.

Soon after this study was published, a Weill Cornell team led by Drs. Mark A. Rubin, Sandra J. Shin and Juan Miguel Mosquera, set out to determine if and how often the gene fusion occurred in Weill Cornell's own collection of triple negative breast cancer samples.

Link to the complete article on ScienceDaily: http://bit.ly/1E5JRzO