Ge­netic study im­prove­ments on breast can­cer pa­tients

Quirón­salud Tor­re­vieja in­cor­po­rates a ge­netic study to im­prove the pre­ven­tion of re­lapses in breast can­cer pa­tients

Costa Levante News - - HEALTH -

Med­i­cal Ad­vice from Quirón­Salud Ap­prox­i­mately 7 of ev­ery 10 pa­tients di­ag­nosed with breast can­cer ex­press the hor­monal oe­stro­gen re­cep­tor, and are there­fore can­di­dates for a treat­ment to present the ap­pear­ance of sec­ond tu­mours sen­si­tive to in­hibitors of this hor­monal re­cep­tor.

“Most pa­tients are treated with ta­mox­ifen,” ex­plains bi­ol­o­gist Elena Martínez, ge­neti­cist with the Quirón­salud Tor­re­vieja On­col­ogy Plat­form, “this treat­ment, a se­lec­tive mod­u­la­tor of the oe­stro­gen re­cep­tor, con­sists of tak­ing a tablet for five years af­ter the surgery. This med­i­ca­tion helps re­ duce the an­nual rate of re­lapses by at least half, and de­cides mor­tal­ity by one third.”

The re­sponse of these pa­tients to ta­mox­ifen varies widely, and ap­prox­i­mately 35% do not re­spond to this ther­apy, and may ex­pe­ri­ence a re­lapse. This re­sis­tance may be due to sev­eral fac­tors.

As Doc­tor Martínez ex­plains, “one of the most im­por­tant fac­tors is the huge ge­netic di­ver­sity of one of the en­zymes tasked with trans­form­ing ta­mox­ifen into its ac­tive form, called CYP2D6. There­fore, de­pend­ing on the ge­netic char­ac­ter­is­tics of this enzyme in each pa­tient, we can clas­sify pa­tients into sev­eral cat­e­gories: those con­sid­ered fast, in­ter­me­di­ate and slow metabolis­ers.”

Thanks to this in­no­va­tive test per­formed at the Molec­u­lar Ge­net­ics de­part­ment, in col­lab­ ora­tion with the On­col­ogy De­part­ment of the Clin­i­cal On­col­ogy Plat­form at Hos­pi­tal Quirón­salud Tor­re­vieja, it’s pos­si­ble to es­tab­lish the char­ac­ter­i­sa­tion of this enzyme and find the pa­tients that are “slow metabolis­ers” and in­ca­pable of trans­form­ing ta­mox­ifen into its ac­tive form, and thus would not ben­e­fit from this form of pre­ven­tion of the dis­ease.

This ge­netic study is en­dorsed by the in­ter­na­tional or­gan­i­sa­tion Clin­i­cal Phar­ma­co­ge­net­ics Im­ple­men­ta­tion Con­sor­tium, due to its ef­fi­cacy in di­ag­nos­ing the pa­tients who are can­di­dates for sub­sti­tut­ing ta­mox­ifen treat­ment for one that would be more ef­fec­tive in their cases.

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