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Two Studies Identify Drivers of Metastases

January 23, 2008

By NCI Cancer Bulletin

A new study has pinpointed tiny strands of RNA that help suppress breast cancer metasteses.

A study published in the January 10 Nature has pinpointed several microRNAs (miRNAs) - tiny RNA strands that regulate gene expression - that help suppress breast cancer metastases.

Researchers from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center examined miRNAs in breast cancer cell lines that were highly metastatic to bone and lung compared with control breast cancer cell lines. They chose to focus further studies on the six miRNAs whose expression was most decreased in the metastatic cells.

Errors in tests for Her-2 and ER status

January 5, 2008

By Wall Street Journal

Bad Cancer Tests Drawing Scrutiny

In a study published in 2006 on Her-2 tests — led by researchers at Genentech — a large laboratory that is experienced in the procedures reviewed tests performed by local labs around the country. It found that 14% to 16% of those judged positive for Her-2 were actually negative. Of those judged negative, 18% to 23% were in fact positive.

After signs of problems with hormone testing at a lab in Newfoundland, tissue from 763 patients with negative results was retested at a different lab in 2005 and 2006. The new tests concluded that 317 of those were actually positive. Officials at the provincial Eastern Regional Health Authority in Newfoundland, which oversees the lab that had inaccurate tests, said they can’t comment on potential causes for the problems because of an ongoing government inquiry and a class-action suit by patients. But they said the authority did pursue the issue.

In another analysis of labs in multiple countries, published online last August in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, 70% of 105 patients scored as negative on the estrogen test were relabeled as positive when the tissue was retested by an experienced lab. The analysis found that positive results were almost always correct.

Bad Cancer Tests Drawing Scrutiny

January 4, 2008

By Anna Wilde Mathews, Wall Street Journal

Thousands of breast-cancer patients may be getting the wrong treatment because of errors in two laboratory tests widely used to determine which drugs are prescribed.

MBCN Blog

January 2, 2008

Welcome to the MBCN blog!

Visit this blog  to track news and discussions regarding metastatic breast cancer.