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U of M Expert: Breast cancer breakthrough could boost treatment options while minimizing side effects

Researchers at the University of Washington have published new research that is giving breast cancer patients and survivors alike a lot to be excited about this week.

In the research, published in the journal Nature, researchers identified four genetically distinct types of breast cancer, and within those subtypes, also found characteristics common to other types of cancer, such as ovarian cancer.

The research is exciting because some already-proven therapies might also work for breast cancer containing these kinds of characteristics while the identification of the four genetically distinct disease types will allow researchers to continue developing targeted cancer therapies that work best in fighting each disease.

At the University of Minnesota Masonic Cancer Center, researchers have long been searching for more effective cancer therapies and have led clinical trials that have helped establish approaches that are already yielding patient benefits.  Yesterday, Fox 9 sat down with U of M hematology-oncology expert Anne Blaes, M.D., to discuss the latest research and just what the latest findings could mean in the future.

From Fox 9:

Blaes explained that the study does much more than help doctors avoid treatments they know won’t work. Now, new medicines can be developed to target the specific genetic codes of the tumors.

“I think it’s really exciting,” she said. “This is where we want cancer therapies to go so that we can give people treatments that are going to work and have fewer side effects.”

Blaes says the research has the potential to improve the quality of life during treatment, and even in the short term, cancer patients can expect a number of new clinical trials to emerge.

  1. June 10, 2013 2:16 am | Palmer Hollidge Says:

    Prognosis and survival rates for breast cancer vary greatly depending on the cancer type, stage, treatment, and geographical location of the patient. Survival rates in the Western world are high; for example, more than 8 out of 10 women (84%) in England diagnosed with breast cancer survive for at least 5 years.

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