Phosphoproteomic Study IDs Prognostic Kinase Signature for Triple Negative Breast Cancer

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – A team led by researchers at the Spanish National Cancer Research Center and Utrecht University have identified a set of protein kinases that are predictive of treatment outcomes in triple-negative breast cancer.

Published today in Nature Communications, the study used a combination of mass spec-based phosphoproteomics and immunohistochemistry to identify six kinases whose activation levels can help predict the likelihood of relapse and guide therapy in TNBC.

As the authors noted, TNCB is a difficult-to-treat form of breast cancer with a typically poor prognosis and a lack of good prognostic and predictive markers. The disease is highly heterogeneous at the genetic level, they added, with previous studies identifying “sets of mutations unique to individual patients” and “highly penetrant oncogenes … rarely found.”

This, they wrote, suggests that “the TNBC phenotype is a result of coexisting, moderately penetrant, genetic changes that together contribute to its clinical presentation.”

This sort of genetic landscape makes it difficult to identify broadly useful markers at the nucleic acid level. However, the researchers hypothesized that the various TNBC-linked genetic alterations might “coalesce into a discrete number of phosphorylation-driven patterns of activation of the proteome, the activity of which would determine the prognosis

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