Here is an interesting perspective on developing individualized breast cancer therapy from an Austalian site, OncologyUpdate.com:

Paradigm shift in breast cancer diagnosis

Risk factors for breast cancer
vary by tumour subtype, a
study finds, which could lead to
more personalised medicine.

   Reproductive factors, such as
early age at menarche, nulliparity,
increasing age at first full-term birth
and elevated BMI in younger women
were more strongly associated
with hormone receptor-positive
tumours than hormone receptornegative
tumours, the analysis of
35,568 breast cancer cases found.

   Nulliparity, increasing age at
first birth and BMI in younger
women were not associated with
triple negative (ER-/PR-/HER2-)
or core basal phenotype (CBP)
tumours, researchers found.

   The birth of each child was
associated with an 11% decrease
in the risk of ER+/ PR+ breast
cancers but was unrelated to
the risk of ER-/PR- cancers.

   Obesity among younger women
was inversely associated with risk
for receptor positive tumours only,
which seemed to reflect a lack of
protection for ER-/PR- cancers,
researchers wrote in the Journal
of the National Cancer Institute.

   However, obesity might be
associated with increased levels
of insulin and related growth
factors which could increase
the risk for some breast tumour
subtypes such as triple negative
and CBP tumours, they wrote.

   A positive family history
increased risk similarly for all
subtypes of breast cancer,
especially for CBP tumours.

   The results supported the
hypothesis that CBP tumours
have different etiology from
hormone receptor positive
tumours, researchers wrote.

   Oncologist Professor Ia
Olver, CEO of Cancer Council
Australia, said the study underlined
that triple negative tumours
should be considered a completely
different type of cancer.

   “We’re undergoing a paradigm
shift in the diagnosis of breast
cancer. We will be able to pull
out subtypes of breast cancer
that have different outcomes and
require different treatment. It’s
really part of this push towards
personalised medicine,” he said.

Journal of the National Cancer
Institute 2011; 103:1-14

Feel good and keep smiling!  Pat & Pattie

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