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Genetic Marker May Indicate Individual Response to Tamoxifen

Genetic Marker May Indicate Individual Response to Tamoxifen

A recent study may have found a manner of predicting how breast cancer patients will will respond to treatment with the popular drug tamoxifen. Hendrika M. Oosterkamp, an oncologist with the Netherlands Cancer Institute in Amsterdam, along with her colleagues, recently conducted a study focusing exclusively on females afflicted with estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer. The study focused on ZR-75-1 luminal breast cancer cells, measuring correlations between loss of specific genes and receptiveness to tamoxifen.

Ultimately, the study was able to isolate a gene, USP9X, that pertains directly to tamoxifen reception. In patients whose breast cancer had caused the loss of function of the gene USP9X, response to tamoxifen was drastically less effective at reducing cancer cells. This data , when considered alongside that of 680 patients who had been treated postoperatively with tamoxifen, confirmed the hypothesis of the study. The research may prove invaluable as cancer treatment evolves in determining which courses of action to take for patients afflicted with estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer.

According to the Oncology Nurse Advisor,  though the research is still comparatively new, Oosterkamp and her colleagues seem optimistic that it can have an impact as a marker for how to treat cancer patients.

Ultimately, Oosterkamp and her colleagues believe that using USP9X as a biomarker may be groundbreaking in determining treatment plans for breast cancer patients. 

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