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 VMAs 2015: Was Nicki Minaj and Miley Cyrus' awkward acceptance put-down real or staged?
- 2 If you're not already angry about the migrant crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
- 3 Rules on 5p plastic bags likely to lead to arguments at the check-out
- 4 I like Corbyn, but let's face it: we don't need another white man at the head of a political party
- 5 Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
VMAs 2015: Was Nicki Minaj and Miley Cyrus' awkward acceptance put-down real or staged?
Bank Holiday Monday opening times: Are Tesco, Asda and other supermarkets open today?
Rules on 5p plastic bags likely to lead to arguments at the check-out
The nine most warmongering countries in the world revealed
VMAs 2015: Kanye West runs for president, Nicki Minaj calls out Miley Cyrus and the list of winners in full
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
'Women only' train carriages: Jeremy Corbyn unveils radical move to tackle public harassment
Black holes are a passage to another universe, says Stephen Hawking
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
Tony Blair attacks Jeremy Corbyn's 'Alice In Wonderland' politics
Theresa May says migrants should be banned from entering the UK unless they have jobs lined up
£35000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: You will be working with a 8 st...
£8000 - £12000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A unique opportunity has arisen ...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: An exceptional opportunity has arisen for a pa...
£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This provider of designer kitch...