Whole genome breast cancer study launched

May 1, 2012

A study designed to guide clinicians in tailoring breast cancer therapy to their patients's individual genomes and those of their tumors has been announced by the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

A study designed to guide clinicians in tailoring breast cancer therapy to their patients' individual genomes and those of their tumors has been announced by the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. The Breast Cancer Genome Guided Therapy Study (BEAUTY Project) will use whole-genome sequencing data and transplanted cell lines to identify gene pathways that determine an individual's response to chemotherapy, allowing therapy to be customized for each patient.

In the first phase of the study, 200 women diagnosed with high-risk breast cancer will receive standard chemotherapy before surgery. Whole genome sequences of healthy tissue and tumor tissue will be obtained from each woman prior to treatment. Following therapy, an additional whole genome sequence will be taken from the residual tumor cells to identify how they have mutated and adapted to chemotherapy. In addition, cell lines from the tumor-before and after chemotherapy-will be implanted in immunocompromised "avatar" mice to enable researchers to study the effects of treatment on individual tumors and identify the optimal treatment without risk of harm to the patient.

Oncologists, surgeons, radiologists, and genomics and cancer researchers will collaborate in the study, which is being funded by benefactors, the Mayo Clinic Center for Individualized Medicine, and the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center. For additional information, visit http://www.MayoClinic.edu/research/.