Research ArticleCancer

Genomic profiling of ER+ breast cancers after short-term estrogen suppression reveals alterations associated with endocrine resistance

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Science Translational Medicine  09 Aug 2017:
Vol. 9, Issue 402, eaai7993
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aai7993

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A patient look at cancer resistance

A variety of drugs that inhibit estrogen signaling are in use for breast cancer, but patients often develop resistance to these treatments. To understand how this resistance develops, Giltnane et al. evaluated 143 patients who were receiving the aromatase inhibitor letrozole to block estrogen signaling before undergoing surgery for breast cancer. By performing genomic analysis on these patients’ tumors, the authors were able to identify not only changes in gene expression and estrogen receptor gene fusions that correlated with resistance to therapy but also potential leads for future treatments that could help overcome this resistance.