Researchers at the MD Anderson Cancer Center say a newly identified gene, DEAR1, may serve as a biomarker for high risk of local recurrence, especially for younger women with triple negative breast cancer.
They studied tissues from tumors of 123 women whose breast cancer began between ages 25 and 49 and advanced to invasive disease. Of these, 56 percent had lost DEAR1 ((ductal epithelium-associated ring chromosome 1) expression. This correlated with a family history of breast cancer and with triple-negative disease.
The authors suggested that measurement of DEAR1 expression “could be an important marker to stratify early-onset breast cancer patients for increased vigilance in follow-up and adjuvant therapy.”
“The correlation with local recurrence is significant because so many young women have recurrences in the breast, and cancers that do recur tend to be more aggressive,” said senior author Ann McNeill Killary, Ph.D., professor in M. D. Anderson’s Department of Genetics. “Young age has been considered a risk factor for local recurrence and metastasis. It is important to understand the genetic mechanisms operating in early-onset breast cancer and to determine whether there is a way to identify young women who might be at a higher risk of recurrence.”