Scientists hail revolutionary breast cancer breakthrough
Steve Connor is the Science Editor of The Independent and i. He has won many awards for his journalism, including five-times winner of the prestigious British science writers’ award; the David Perlman Award of the American Geophysical Union; four times highly commended as specialist journalist of the year in the UK Press Awards; UK health journalist of the year and a special merit award of the European School of Oncology for his investigations into the tobacco industry. He has a degree in zoology from the University of Oxford and has a special interest in genetics and medical science, human evolution and origins, climate change and the environment.
Thursday 19 April 2012
A dramatic breakthrough in breast cancer research will lead to a revolution in the way the disease will be diagnosed and treated in years to come, leading cancer specialists said yesterday.
Researchers have discovered that breast cancer patients can be subdivided into ten different groups each with a unique genetic fingerprint that will determine the type of drugs and treatment that could lead to a cure.
Instead of looking at breast cancer as a single disease with a limited number of treatments, the scientists believe that it is now more accurate to view it as a range of illnesses with a wide variety of potential therapies that can be tailored to individual patients.
The discovery was made by analysing the tumours of some 2,000 women with breast cancer in a large Anglo-Canadian research effort, the biggest so far into understanding the genetics of a disease that kills nearly 12,000 people a year in Britain alone.
The study has also identified several new genes that are implicated in triggering or controlling breast cancer, which the scientists believe will become valuable targets for the development of novel anti-cancer drugs.
Harpal Kumar, chief executive of the charity Cancer Research UK, said that the landmark study will change the way clinical trials on new drugs and treatments are undertaken now that the complexities of the disease are more accurately understood.
“This in the years to come will have an enormous impact in the way we think about both diagnosing and treating women with breast cancer, and that should enable us to contine the progress we’ve made in breast cancer over the past 25 years,” Dr Kumar said.
The study, published in the journal Nature, involved more than a dozen research centres in Britain, Canada and Norway.
- 1 Finland schools: Subjects scrapped and replaced with 'topics' as country reforms its education system
- 2 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 3 #FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
- 4 Scientists have discovered a simple way to cook rice that dramatically cuts the calories
- 5 Zayn Malik quits One Direction: Hundreds of workers request compassionate leave following band member's exit
Germanwings captain Patrick Sondenheimer tried to break into locked cockpit door 'with an axe' as plane was descending
Amanda Knox murder conviction: Italian court overturns verdict for US student and Raffaele Sollecito in the killing of Meredith Kercher
Saudi Arabia says it won't rule out building nuclear weapons
The battle for the Middle East's future begins in Yemen as Saudi Arabia jumps into the abyss
#FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
Nigel Farage brands LGBT activists 'filth' and 'scum' and accuses them of scaring away his children after they invade his local pub
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Russia threatens Denmark with nuclear weapons if it tries to join Nato defence shield
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Germanwings plane crash live: Co-pilot Andreas Lubitz wanted to 'do something people would remember him for'
£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped commission: SThree: Does earning a 6 figu...
£18000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A challenging opportunity for a...