Lugano-CH, Brussels-BE, 2 May 2013 -- A study led by prominent breast cancer experts from Europe and the US has revealed a number of potentially important prospects for targeted therapies, and brings opportunities of truly personalised therapy for breast cancer a step closer, researchers said at the 5th IMPAKT Breast Cancer Conference in Brussels, Belgium.
The IMPAKT meeting presents cutting edge, 'translational' breast cancer research that is beginning to have an impact for patients.
This current study was led by Dr Martine Piccart, Director of Medicine at the Jules Bordet Institute in Brussels, and Dr Jose Baselga, Associate Director at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York.
The researchers used modern sequencing technology to characterise the genetic aberrations of cancer genes present in tumour samples from a well-defined cohort of advanced postmenopausal patients who were enrolled in the BOLERO-2 clinical trial.
"The results of this study generated hypotheses for developing more rational targeted therapy combinations based on the specific genetic aberrations present in each individual tumour," Dr Piccart said.
"This work, together with previous works published last year, highlights again the genetic heterogeneity of breast cancer. These results show that tumours that may look very similar at the clinical level, can be genetically very different, suggesting that they may require different treatment strategies."
"There is still a long way to go before we will be able to offer truly personalised therapies to cancer patients, and support for research such as this will be critical to accelerate this process," Dr Piccart said.
The study involved postmenopausal women with advanced breast cancer that was hormone receptor positive and HER2 negative taking part in the BOLERO-2 phase III trial. The trial showed that everolimus plus exemestane significantly improved progression-free survival, response rate and clinical benefi
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European Society for Medical Oncology