Breast Cancer’s Landmark Moment: It’s Ten Different Diseases

What we currently call breast cancer should be thought of as 10 completely separate diseases, according to a landmark study, in this report by the BBC:

These findings could transform the way women are diagnosed and treated.

The ability to treat breast cancer patients more specifically, even tailoring their treatments individually, has been considered somewhat of an unattainable dream by oncologists until now.

This research takes them a step closer to that ideal.

The research analyzed the DNA and RNA of 2,000 tumor samples taken from women diagnosed with breast cancer. This large pool of data allowed researchers to spot new patterns— eventually discovering that there are ten subtly different cancers that are all currently lumped together as one.

Harpal Kumar, from Cancer Research UK, told the BBC:

“This is the largest ever study looking in detail at the genetics of breast tumours.

This will change the way we look at breast cancer, it will have an enormous impact in the years to come in diagnosing and treating breast cancer.

We think this is a landmark study.”

Breast cancer surgeon Dr. Jay Harness has long advocated that what we think of as breast cancer is actually more than one disease:

“As no two breast cancers are exactly alike, individualized treatment is required for each breast cancer patient.

The implications of this study loom large as more individuated and precise treatment protocols for breast cancer patients are developed.”

The study is further reported in national media such as the Los Angeles Times and

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One Response to Breast Cancer’s Landmark Moment: It’s Ten Different Diseases

  1. Robinson says:

    This is a neat summary. Thanks for shriang!