Study Highlights Molecular Changes in Tumor-Neighboring Tissue in Breast Cancer Patients

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – New research suggests histologically normal mammary duct cells neighboring cancerous breast tissue can contain genomic changes falling along a gradient with distance from the tumor.

Researchers from the University Health Network, the University of Toronto, and the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research used array-based expression profiling, array comparative genomic hybridization, and other approaches to characterize breast epithelial tissue adjacent to — and distant from — tumors in eight individuals with breast cancer. The results, appearing online today in Nature Communications, pointed to distinct expression modules emanating out from the tumor.

“The fact that changes are already present in different regions of the breast could be important in the delivery of radiation therapy or surgical margin assessment,” co-corresponding author Susan Done, a pathology researcher affiliated with the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, the University of Toronto, and other centers, said in a statement. “We’re a long way from bringing this into clinic, but it is something we will think about as we continue our research.”

For their analyses, Done and her colleagues assessed breast epithelial cell samples obtained by ductoscopy from eight individuals with primary breast carcinoma during mastectomy surgery, comparing tissue from ducts leading to each individual’s

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