Deep Sequencing of Breast Cancer Tumors Predict Outcomes After Single Dose of Therapy


High-tech glasses developed at the School of Medicine help breast surgeon Julie Margenthaler, MD, visualize cancer cells in a patient. Inset: Still image from a video of the lymph node removal, as seen by Margenthaler as she wore the eyewear. A florescent marker injected into the patient and special lighting made cancer cells glow blue when viewed with the technology. The lighter the shade of blue, the more concentrated the cancer cells are. Credit: Photo by Robert Boston / Image courtesy of Washington University School of Medicine


New research from University Hospitals (UH) Case Medical Center Seidman Cancer Center and Case Comprehensive Cancer Center at Case Western Reserve University examined how changes in the genetic composition of breast cancer 1) ___ after brief exposure to either biologic therapy or chemotherapy can predict future clinical outcomes in patients. Results showed that through deep genome sequencing, a reduction in the most commonly mutated genes in breast cancer could be observed after just one dose of preoperative therapy. Deep sequencing is a process that involves sequencing the same region multiple times to identify mutations within tumors that have an importance in 2) ___ evolution. These new findings were presented during the December 2013 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.


“Genomics is the new frontier of cancer research, and this study shows that we may be able to accurately determine what treatment methods will and will not be effective for individual patients after just one dose of3) ___,“ said Lyndsay Harris, MD, study investigator and Director, Breast Cancer Program, UH Seidman Cancer Center and Professor of Medicine at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. “The ability to understand potential clinical outcomes for patients earlier in the treatment process would provide physicians with better opportunity to personalize patients’ medicines according to their own tumor responses.“


More than 209,000 patients in the U.S. are diagnosed with breast cancer each year. The anticipated outcome of studying the genetic makeup of breast cancer patients is to determine who will benefit most from certain drug therapies and to use that information to create a personalized treatment plan for each 4) ___ involved. Dr. Harris and team are currently integrating whole genome profiles with deep sequencing data as they spearhead a new study at UH Seidman Cancer Center to validate these initial findings presented in San Antonio.


By studying the genetic makeup of breast cancer patients, doctors are taking the next steps forward in delivering more personalized care to patients. Whole genome sequencing from cancers is not a new concept, but recently researchers have delved more deeply into the evolution of breast cancers identifying that it comes in four distinct types. Breaking down how the 5) ___ of each sub-type of the disease function is allowing for doctors to customize treatments for improved outcomes. Even more promising, clinical research trials at a few select institutions around the country, including Cleveland’s University Hospitals Case Medical Center Seidman Cancer Center, are part of a development in a rising trend toward targeted treatments as a result of 6) ___ profiling of tumors.


“The knowledge of the molecular underpinnings of a particular kind of breast cancer can improve the cure rates and even in the advanced disease setting improve quality of life and length of life,“ says Lyndsay Harris, MD. “The cure of the disease is really our goal, and we are moving quickly toward a time when we can expect to cure the vast majority of 7) ___ who are diagnosed with breast cancer at the earliest stages.“ Source: University Hospitals Case Medical Center, Cleveland, OH and San Antonio, TX;


ANSWERS: 1) tumors; 2) cancer; 3) medicine; 4) patient; 5) cells; 6) genomic; 7) women


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