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GEN News Highlights : Dec 20, 2007

Over 50 New Breast Cancer Biomarkers Discovered

A study reported in PLoS ONE found that a single differentially methylated locus showed a clinical sensitivity of 90% and a specificity of 96% for infiltrating ductal breast carcinoma.

Researchers say that they have found more than 50 novel biomarkers for breast cancer, which were subsequently validated in up to 230 independent patient samples.

The scientists applied a microarray-based approach from Orion Genomics to map tumor-associated changes in DNA methylation. A single locus associated with the GHSR gene was the most powerful biomarker in the study with a clinical sensitivity of 90% and a specificity of 96% for infiltrating ductal breast carcinoma, according to the company.

In addition, the research revealed insights into the molecular mechanism of tumor development, reports Orion.

“Twelve of our more than fifty breast cancer biomarkers exceeded the highest sensitivity previously reported for the stratification of tumor and normal tissue,” says Nathan D. Lakey, president and CEO of Orion Genomics.

Aside from Orion, the research was conducted by investigators at McGill University,  Imperial College, Purdue University, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, and the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research. The results of the study appear in PLoS ONE.