Scientists now have the knowledge on who will survive breast cancer and who will most likely die from the disease. The way various proteins interact with tumors can help predict a woman’s chances.
Canadian researchers from Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto have found that breast cancer survivors have a different organization of the network of proteins in breast tissue than those who die.
The results of the study were published in Nature Biotechnology. The researchers were able to use the protein interactions for predicting the outcome in 82 percent of breast cancer patients in their study.
“We approached cancer as a problem in how proteins communicate with each other — or how proteins interact with each other in networks,” Jeff Wrana of Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto, who led the study, said in a telephone interview.
“It could help to direct the appropriate therapies for individual patients.”
When a new patient is seen with protein interactions that predict a negative outcome they need very aggressive treatment using surgery, chemotherapy and radiation.
Mount Sinai Hospital has a patent on the process that identifies the interactions in a core group of 250 proteins. The researchers have formed a company, DyNeMo Biosystems, to explore commercial applications of this process.
465,000 women die each year world-wide from breast cancer.