03 Dec Higher Expression of Stem Cell Genes In Young Breast Cancer Patients
MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Hatem A. Azim MD PhD
Breast Cancer Translational Research Laboratory
Institut Jules Bordet
Université Libre de Bruxelles
Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Dr. Azim: As at breast cancer diagnosis is known to impact prognosis, with young patients having worse outcome. On the other hand, elderly patients are less studies in general and little is known on their tumor characteristics.
In this study, we aimed to define the pattern of genomic aberrations in different age groups. This can result in identifying if key potentially targetable genomic alterations are more specific to particular age groups and thus could open the door to design particular studies targeting these aberrations in these age groups. We found that age is associated with unique biological features at the DNA level, independent of tumor stage, histology and breast cancer molecular subtype.
Of particular mention, the higher prevalence of GATA3 mutation in younger patient, a known driver mutation associated with endocrine resistance. In addition, age at diagnosis appears to impact the tumor transcriptome confirming previous observations, but also highlighting novel findings, of particular relevance the higher expression of stem cell related genes in young patients.
Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?
Dr. Azim: The main take home message is that women at young age have different molecular makeup which is likely to explain why they do poorer. This indicates that novel strategies need to be explored and not just offering more aggressive chemotherapy, which does not appear to solve the issue of them carrying poorer prognosis, as shown in previous studies.
Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?
Dr. Azim: This study opens the door to exploring therapeutic agents targeting endocrine resistance and stem cell related genes in young breast cancer patients. Currently several agents are in drug development targeting these aberations and based on our findings, they are worthy investigations mostly in the young population .
Dr. Azim Hatem (2015). Higher Expression of Stem Cell Genes In Younger Breast Cancer Patients