Latest research led by VHIO: cutting edge ´omics´ predict breast cancer patients´ response to chemotherapy

Latest research led by VHIO, recently published in Clinical Cancer Research, validates the predictive power of a novel genomic technology to identify breast cancer patients who will best respond to treatment with chemotherapy. This study was carried out in collaboration with investigators from VHIO, the University of Barcelona, the Virgen de la Victoria University Hospital in Malaga, and NanoString Technologies.

The researchers firstly verified the identification of the intrinsic tumor subtype as well as the estimated individual risk of recurrence (ROR) of each patient via small biopsy samples extracted from primary or metastatic tumors. They then showed that the technology could effectively and reliably predict response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC) in patients with the so called luminal molecular subtypes of breast cancer.

NAC constitutes a standard treatment option for patients who have been recently diagnosed with breast cancer and aims to improve surgical outcomes through cleaner tumor margins as well as prolong survival. Up until now, the decision regarding which patients should receive NAC has been based on clinical criteria and tumor biologics, including the age of each patient, comorbidity, the expression of estrogen (ER) and progesterone (PR) receptors as well as that of the human epidermal growth factor receptor-2 (HER2). As of today, thanks to this predictive genomic technology and testing, breast cancer diagnosis has been rendered more precise. By facilitating new and insightful information, therapeutic decisions including whether or not to administer chemotherapy, will be better guided based on the specificities of each individual patient, the particularities of his/her tumor.

“We are extremely satisfied with both the power of the nCounter Nanostring technology for diagnostic and metastatic breast cancer biopsy analysis, as well as the capacity of the Prosigna test to faithfully predict prognosis and response to current chemotherapeutics in these patients”, comments Aleix Prat, Principal Investigator of VHIO´s Translational Genomics Group, and Head of the Medical Oncology Department at the Hospital Clinic, Barcelona. “Our results highlight the importance of considering tumor biology both upon breast cancer diagnosis as well as prior to therapeutic intervention”.

Catalunya´s Health Service (CatSalut), has incorporated the test within its suite of available genomic platforms. To be used for testing hormone sensitive breast cancer, this technology is already available across several hospitals in Catalunya.

For more information please contact Amanda Wren, Director of Communication, the Vall d´Hebron Institute of Oncology (VHIO),, Tel: +34 695207886.

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