Breast cancer genomics: normal tissue and cancer markers


Address for correspondence: Michèl Schummer, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, 1100 Fairview Ave N, Mail Stop M2-B230, Seattle, WA 98109.


Mammography is a powerful screening tool for early detection of breast cancer, but it has limitations in terms of both specificity and sensitivity. Imaging tools such as MRI that complement mammography are too costly to serve as first-line screens. Recently, progress has been made on blood markers, particularly microRNAs and proteins. There are new methods for protein marker discovery directly in blood, but they are limited in the number of patients that can be examined. An alternative is to discover markers as transcripts in tissues, followed by development of blood protein tests for those that perform best. To identify genes that are overexpressed in malignancy it is paramount to include normal control tissues from healthy individuals. Here we report the identification of potential breast cancer markers, including some that are overexpressed in aggressive disease.