Gene expression changes in the tissue microenvironment in which a tumour arises can be used to predict outcome in patients with breast cancer, suggests a report online in Nature Medicine.
Analysis of the genes expressed in cancer has provided important information that can help predict the aggressiveness of tumours and their likely response to therapy. Morag Park and colleagues show that the tumour connective tissue or 'stroma' also undergoes changes in gene expression that can help inform disease outcome. By analyzing the tissue surrounding breast tumours, they identify a gene signature that classifies tumours according to clinical outcomes, independent of other prognostic factors.
In addition to providing a new diagnostic tool for breast cancer, these findings highlight the emerging role of tumour stroma in cancer progression.
Morag Park (McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada)
Abstract available online.
(C) Nature Medicine press release.
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