Dec 2012 Balkan journal of medical genetics : BJMG

Integrated genomic analysis of breast cancers.


Addou-Klouche L, Adélaïde J, Cornen S, Bekhouche I, Finetti P, Guille A, Sircoulomb F, Raynaud S, Bertucci F, Birnbaum D, Chaffanet M


Breast cancer is the most frequent and the most deadly cancer in women in Western countries. Different classifications of disease (anatomoclinical, pathological, prognostic, genetic) are used for guiding the management of patients. Unfortunately, they fail to reflect the whole clinical heterogeneity of the disease. Consequently, molecularly distinct diseases are grouped in similar clinical classes, likely explaining the different clinical outcome between patients in a given class, and the fact that selection of the most appropriate diagnostic or therapeutic strategy for each patient is not done accurately. Today, treatment is efficient in only 70.0-75.0% of cases overall. Our repertoire of efficient drugs is limited but is being expanded with the discovery of new molecular targets for new drugs, based on the identification of candidate oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes (TSG) functionally relevant in disease. Development of new drugs makes therapeutical decisions even more demanding of reliable classifiers and prognostic/predictive tests. Breast cancer is a complex, heterogeneous disease at the molecular level. The combinatorial molecular origin and the heterogeneity of malignant cells, and the variability of the host background, create distinct subgroups of tumors endowed with different phenotypic features such as response to therapy and clinical outcome. Cellular and molecular analyses can identify new classes biologically and clinically relevant, as well as provide new clinically relevant markers and targets. The various stages of mammary tumorigenesis are not clearly defined and the genetic and epigenetic events critical to the development and aggressiveness of breast cancer are not precisely known. Because the phenotype of tumors is dependent on many genes, a large-scale and integrated molecular characterization of the genetic and epigenetic alterations and gene expression deregulation should allow the identification of new molecular classes clinically relevant, as well as among the altered genes and/or pathways, the identification of more accurate molecular diagnostic, prognostic/predictive factors, and for some of them, after functional validation, the identification of new therapeutic targets.

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