Researchers Find New Breast Cancer Marker

Discovery predicts which early tumors will become cancerous
By Michael O'Connor,  Newser User
Posted Dec 17, 2007 5:19 PM CST
In a study presented at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium one group reported they had discovered a molecular profile to distinguish potentially lethal cases of DCIS from ones that will never become...   (
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(Newser) – Tens of thousands of women may avoid unnecessary treatment for breast cancer in the future, thanks to the discovery of a means to predict which precancerous breast tumors will become cancerous, the Chicago Tribune reports. Researchers found molecular markers that can be used to identify—out of 50,000 women diagnosed with precancerous tumors annually—the 8-15% that will eventually become lethal.

The rest of the women, who would otherwise have be treated with surgery, radiation, and even chemotherapy, can be spared treatment. "At present, a lot of people are being treated for a cancer that's not going to happen, because we can't distinguish,"  said the head researcher. The same approach can be applied to other forms of cancer, such as colon, lung, and prostate.