Genetic Testing for Breast Cancer

It’s still the Week of Science, so here is a short, but important development from

US regulators have approved a new diagnostic tool to help target treatment for breast cancer patients… The test, called MammaPrint and produced by the Dutch company Agendia, uses the expression of 70 genes in tumour samples to help determine whether a woman with early-stage cancer is likely to suffer from a recurrence, and so whether she will benefit from chemotherapy or not.

And an other one about a new breast cancer-susceptibility gene:

The gene, known as PALB2, may play a role in only about 1 percent of breast cancer cases in the select population that was studied (Finnish women), but its discovery sheds light on the complex web of gene interactions that underlies the disease, say the authors of the study, which is being published by the journal Nature on its Web site and later in a print edition.


  • van ‘t Veer L. J., et al. Nature, 415. 530 – 536 (2002). (Article, PubMed)

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