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Biomarkers in Cancer

Novel Molecular Markers for Breast Cancer

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Biomarkers in Cancer 2016:8 25-42

Review

Published on 13 Mar 2016

DOI: 10.4137/BIC.S38394


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Abstract

The use of molecular biomarkers assures that breast cancer (BC) patients receive optimal treatment. Established biomarkers, such as estrogen receptor, progesterone receptor, HER2, and Ki67, have been playing significant roles in the subcategorization of BC to predict the prognosis and decide the specific therapy to each patient. Antihormonal therapy using 4-hydroxytamoxifen or aromatase inhibitors have been employed in patients whose tumor cells express hormone receptors, while monoclonal antibody to HER2 has been administered to HER2-positive BCs. Although new therapeutic agents have been developed in the past few decades, many patients still die of the disease due to relapse; thus, novel molecular markers that predict therapeutic failure and those that can be targets for specific therapy are expected. We have chosen four of such molecules by reviewing recent publications, which are cyclin E, B-Myb, Twist, and DMP1β. The oncogenicity of these molecules has been demonstrated in vivo and/or in vitro through studies using transgenic mice or siRNAs, and their expressions have been shown to be associated with shortened overall or disease-free survival of BC patients. The former three molecules have been shown to accelerate epithelial–mesenchymal transition that is often associated with cancer stem cell-ness and metastasis; all these four can be novel therapeutic targets as well. Thus, large prospective studies employing immunohistochemistry will be needed to establish the predictive values of these molecules in patients with BC.



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