Metastasis is the main cause of death for breast cancer patients. While many studies have characterized the genomic landscape of breast cancer in its early stages, there is evidence that patients acquire genomic alterations as the disease progresses to its later stages.
A team of researchers in France and Switzerland has now studied the landscape of somatic alterations in 617 metastatic breast cancers and have found that the genomic landscape of metastatic breast cancer is enriched in clinically relevant genomic alterations and is more complex than that of early breast cancer. The findings, reported in Nature, could allow for earlier and better selection of patients who require the use of treatments that are still in clinical trials. “The genetic complexity observed in advanced breast cancer suggests that such treatments should be introduced as early as possible in the disease course,” say the researchers.
The French teams involved in this research:
Read the research paper: Genomic characterization of metastatic breast cancers, François Bertucci et al., Nature 10.1038/s41586-019-1056-z