The term “breast cancer” is a blanket term for what has turned out to be 10 different categories of diseases which have now been classified by a study published in the journal Nature.
Researchers examined 2,000 tumor samples taken from women diagnosed with breast cancer between five and 10 years ago and analyzed the DNA and RNA from those samples. Researchers believe their findings will now allow doctors to better tailor treatments around each females own type of breast cancer, allowing for better results.
The study was conducted by a team at Cancer Research U.K.’s Cambridge Research Institute in collaboration with B.C. Cancer Agency in Vancouver, Canada.
The group also studied tumor samples under microscope, analyzing their genetic profile. During their research the group found genetic mutations that drive breast tumor development, a study that revealed several new breast cancer genes. Through their work the group was able to reveal the relationship between the new genes and known cell activities that cause the growth and division of cancer cells.
Using the groups new research the group says it should change the way doctors treat breast cancer. According to one of the studies authors:
“Essentially we’ve moved from knowing what a breast tumor looks like under a microscope to pinpointing its molecular anatomy — and eventually we’ll know which drugs it will respond to … this research won’t affect women diagnosed with breast cancer today. But in the future, breast cancer patients will receive treatment targeted to the genetic fingerprint of their tumor.”
Researchers now plan to break down their findings to determine how tumors in each subgroup behave, by doing so they can find out if certain cancers spread more quickly than others or act differently based on the medications they are prescribed.
The researchers say the next stage will be to discover how tumors in each subgroup behave — for example, do they grow or spread quickly?
While more research is needed various scientists have come out to call the findings “very exciting” finds that offer hope for the future fight against breast cancer.