A new genome-driven integrated classification of breast cancer and its implications

Authors

  • Sarah-Jane Dawson,

    1. Cancer Research UK, Cambridge Institute, University of Cambridge, Li Ka Shing Centre, Cambridge, UK
    2. Department of Oncology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK
    3. Cambridge Breast Unit, Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and NIHR Cambridge Biomedical Research Centre, Cambridge, UK
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    • Joint current affiliation: Division of Research, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, St Andrew's Place, East Melbourne, Victoria 8006, Australia.
  • Oscar M Rueda,

    1. Cancer Research UK, Cambridge Institute, University of Cambridge, Li Ka Shing Centre, Cambridge, UK
    2. Department of Oncology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK
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  • Samuel Aparicio,

    1. Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
    2. Molecular Oncology, British Columbia Cancer Research Centre, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
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  • Carlos Caldas

    Corresponding author
    1. Cancer Research UK, Cambridge Institute, University of Cambridge, Li Ka Shing Centre, Cambridge, UK
    2. Department of Oncology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK
    3. Cambridge Breast Unit, Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and NIHR Cambridge Biomedical Research Centre, Cambridge, UK
    4. Cambridge Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre, Cambridge, UK
    • Corresponding author. Cancer Research UK, Cambridge Institute, University of Cambridge, Li Ka Shing Centre, Robinson Way, Cambridge CB2 0RE, UK. Tel.:+44 1223 769648; Fax:+44 1223 769510; E-mail: Carlos.Caldas@cruk.cam.ac.uk

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Abstract

Breast cancer is a group of heterogeneous diseases that show substantial variation in their molecular and clinical characteristics. This heterogeneity poses significant challenges not only in breast cancer management, but also in studying the biology of the disease. Recently, rapid progress has been made in understanding the genomic diversity of breast cancer. These advances led to the characterisation of a new genome-driven integrated classification of breast cancer, which substantially refines the existing classification systems currently used. The novel classification integrates molecular information on the genomic and transcriptomic landscapes of breast cancer to define 10 integrative clusters, each associated with distinct clinical outcomes and providing new insights into the underlying biology and potential molecular drivers. These findings have profound implications both for the individualisation of treatment approaches, bringing us a step closer to the realisation of personalised cancer management in breast cancer, but also provide a new framework for studying the underlying biology of each novel subtype.

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