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06.02.2020 | short review | Ausgabe 4/2020 Open Access

memo - Magazine of European Medical Oncology 4/2020

Molecular profiling in breast cancer—ready for clinical routine?

memo - Magazine of European Medical Oncology > Ausgabe 4/2020
Kristina A. Tendl, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Zsuzsanna Bago-Horvath
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The herald of genomic testing opened novel diagnostic and therapeutic possibilities for many tumor entities. For breast cancer, molecular profiling has become an integral part of disease management on multiple levels. Genetic testing allows for the identification of hereditary cancer syndromes in patients with a family history of malignancies and contributes to the successful prevention of breast cancer. In early breast cancer, several prospective randomized trials demonstrated the prognostic significance of commercially available mRNA-based gene expression analyses, which now have become part of standard of care in the adjuvant setting. In advanced breast cancer, testing for targetable mutations ensures personalized cancer treatment. Poly-ADP-ribose polymerase (PARP) inhibitors provide the first targeted alternative for patients with BRCA 1/2-associated breast cancer. In advanced breast cancer of luminal type, the detection of Phosphatidylinositol-4,5-Bisphosphate 3-Kinase Catalytic Subunit Alpha (PIK3CA) mutations provides a novel treatment option with alpelisib, a PIK3CA inhibitor. Further targetable mutations include NTRK3 in rare cases of secretory breast carcinoma and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2). Recent data support the importance of the analysis of circulating tumor cells and cell-free DNA. These “liquid biopsies” open novel possibilities of molecular profiling. However, clinical benefit of such analyses remains to be confirmed.

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