The Cancer Genome Atlas program reports genome analysis of breast cancer and its similarity to ovarian cancer

UNC Lineberger scientists reports their genetic characterization of 800 breast tumors, including finding some of the genetic causes of the most common forms of breast cancer, providing clues for new therapeutic targets, and identifying a molecular similarity between one sub-type of breast cancer and ovarian cancer. Their findings are reported in the September 23, 2012 online edition of the journal Nature.

The researchers analyzed tumors using two basic approaches: first, using an unbiased and genome-wide approach, and second, within the context of four previously known molecular sub-types of breast cancer: HER2-enriched, Luminal A, Luminal B and Basal-like. Both approaches arrived at the same conclusions, which suggest that even when given the tremendous genetic diversity of breast cancers, four main subtypes were observed. This study is also the first to integrate information from six analytic technologies, thus providing new insights into these previously defined disease subtypes.