Scientists at the International Hereditary Cancer Center (IHCC) at Pomeranian Medical University (PMU) in Szczecin discovered that the effectiveness of chemo-therapy in women with breast cancer depends on genetic make-up, Dziennik reported last week

Scientists at the International Hereditary Cancer Center (IHCC) at Pomeranian Medical University (PMU) in Szczecin discovered that the effectiveness of chemo-therapy in women with breast cancer depends on genetic make-up, Dziennik reported last week
 
The Krakow Post
 
Scientists at the International Hereditary Cancer Center (IHCC) at Pomeranian Medical University (PMU) in Szczecin have discovered that the effectiveness of chemotherapy in women with breast cancer is dependent upon genetic make-up, according to Dziennik daily last week. Their findings imply that not every woman should be treated with chemotherapy as it may prove ineffective.
The discovery was published in the latest edition of Breast Cancer Research and Treatment journal. The journal is dedicated to topics related to breast cancer, one of the most serious oncological problems, as it is the world?s leading cause of death among women and the disease has no geographic boundaries.
According to the National Health Fund, breast cancer is the most common form of cancer among Polish women. Each year, 12,000 women suffer from the disease. The majority of these women are diagnosed when the disease is already in its advanced stages, resulting in a mortality rate of over 50 percent.
The IHCC was created in 1992 as a division of the Pomeranian Medical University in Szczecin and is a global leader in cancer-related genetic research.  The institute is directed by Professor Jan Lubinski and has the largest hereditary cancer database in the world, comprising 1.25 mln personal records and DNA samples from 120,000 individuals. The IHCC?s research has led to significant discoveries for detecting breast and colon cancer in its early stages.
The latest discovery made by Szczecin?s scientists was the culmination of over 5 years of research under Dr. Tomasz Byrski.  Their findings determined that women should take genetic tests before being treated with chemotherapy, including taxanes, to determine if such treatment would have any positive effects, as some patients treated with neo-adjuvant chemotherapy have had absolutely no reaction to the treatment.
Neo-adjuvant therapy is a treatment provided during the preliminary stages to make the next step in the treatment proceed more smoothly.
In breast cancer, this therapy is mainly used to shrink large tumors so that they are easier to remove. Taxanes inhibit cancer cells from dividing and reproducing. Chemotherapy, including taxanes, improves survival and decreases the progression of advanced breast cancer. However, genetic tests are needed to determine if such a therapy regiment is the most effective for each individual patient.
Until now there have been no studies analyzing the relative effectiveness of different regiments of chemotherapy for women who have breast cancer and carry the BRCA1 germ-line mutation. Polish scientists hope to compare the rates of responses to neo-adjuvant chemotherapy in BRCA1 mutation carriers and non-carriers.
According to the 5-year studies of Dr. Byrski?s team, breast cancers among BRCA1 carriers frequently do not exhibit sensitivity to taxanes in the neo-adjuvant setting. It is likely that a normal BRCA1 is required for a clinical response to mitotic spindle poisons.
Simply stated, if a woman with breast cancer has indications for neo-adjuvant chemotherapy, she should first be tested for a BRCA1 presence. This analysis is much cheaper, costing only 300 zloty, as opposed to the taxans chemotherapy, which costs 20,000 zloty per treatment.
The scientists examined 3,479 Polish women with breast cancer to reach this conclusion. This new discovery will lower the costs of diagnosis by first determining if chemotherapy will have a positive effect.
As the number of preventive options expands for women with a high risk of hereditary breast cancer, the demand for testing increases according to Szczecin?s genetic scientists.
Jan Lubinski, head of the IHCC, announced that his team is researching another kind of breast cancer treatment, which he anticipates will lead to a discovery as sensational as the latest given that oncology is the most rapidly growing sub-specialty in the field of medicine.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.