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Another Landmark Breast Cancer Announcement

April 18, 2012

I spoke at a news conference today for the second time in two weeks, to share another groundbreaking discovery in breast cancer research at the BC Cancer Agency. This new discovery will be a catalyst for bringing hope to breast cancer patients across the province and beyond.

For the first time, the BC Cancer Agency’s breast cancer research team, led by Dr. Sam Aparicio, has identified new genes that could form the basis of next generation, targeted treatments for breast cancer. By reclassifying the disease into at least ten completely new subtypes, BC Cancer Agency researchers are placing new importance on the genetic fingerprint of a tumour as a predictive tool.

Before this research was published today, clinicians recognized four clinically relevant subtypes of breast cancer. The identification of these new tumour subtypes could allow doctors to more accurately predict a tumour’s response to initial treatment, its likelihood of spreading, and chances of returning following treatment. With this knowledge, doctors could tailor treatments to individual treatments for improved results, changing the face of breast cancer treatment for generations to come.

The global study, published today in the prestigious journal Nature, is the result of decades of research, and is expected to have a far reaching impact on the way breast cancer is studied and treated. This discovery has the potential to lead to new and improved treatment options for breast cancer patients right here in B.C. and across the globe. You can read more about the discovery here.

Now back to our next blog post from Dr. Connors: