Breast Cancer Studies

Breast Cancer Studies 2017-08-29T16:10:55-03:00


mamaBreast cancer is a malignant tumor that originates in the cells of the breast. A malignant tumor is a group of malignant cells that can grow infiltrating the surrounding tissues or can spread to distant areas of the body (metastasis). This disease occurs almost exclusively in women, but men can also suffer from this disease.

The breast is composed of glands called lobules that can produce milk, and thin tubes called ducts that carry milk from the lobules to the nipple. The breast tissue also contains fat and connective tissue, lymph nodes and blood vessels. The most common type of breast cancer is ductal carcinoma, which begins in the duct cells. Breast cancer can also begin in the cells of the lobules and other tissues of the breast. Ductal carcinoma is a condition in which abnormal cells are found in the lining of the ducts, but not spread outside the duct. Breast cancer that has spread from where it started in the ducts or lobules to surrounding tissue is called invasive breast cancer.

Biomaker Evidence Type Molecular Alteration
Therapeutic Implications
Analysis Methodology*
Test ID
BRCA1 y BRCA2 Routine Predictive Somatic Mutations PARP inhibitor sensitivity (Olaparib) NGS MoBA12ng
HER2 Routine Predictive and Prognostic Amplification anti-HER2 antibodies sensitivity IHQ MoHR2fh
Estrogen Receptor Routine Predictive and Prognostic Expression Hormone Therapy Sensitivity IHQ MoREih
Progesterone Receptor Routine Predictive and Prognostic Expression Hormone Therapy Sensitivity IHQ MoRPih
Ki-67 Routine Prognostic Expression Cell proliferation Biomarker IHQ MoK67ih
p16 Routine Prognostic Expression Pre – cancerous lesions Diagnostic in TGI IHQ MoP16ih


* NGS: Next-Generation Sequencing – IHC: Immunohistochemistry– FISH: In situ hybridization

1. What do the statistics about breast cancer indicate?

  • It is estimated that more than 19,000 new cases occur annually in Argentina, representing 16.8% of total cancer incidence in the country.
  • Mortality rates are higher for breast cancer between 50 (41.6 per 100,000 women) and 80 years or more (215.8 per 100,000 women).
  • Breast cancer is the most prevalent cancer in women, with a rate of 71 cases per 100,000 women.
  • Over 75% of women with breast cancer have no family history of the disease.
  • For breast cancer early detection is critical because tumors less than 1 centimeter have up to 90% chance of cure.

 2. What are the risk factors for breast cancer?

While it is not known what triggers this disease, some factors that increase the risk of suffering are recognized:

  • Being older than 50 years
  • Personal history of breast cancer or (non-cancerous) benign breast disease.
  • Family history of breast cancer.
  • Treatment with radiation therapy to the breast or chest.
  • Treatment with hormones such as estrogen and progesterone.
  • Early menstruation.
  • Advanced age at first birth or never having children.
  • Overweight
  • Sedentary
  • Smoking
  • Alcohol at higher rates than recommended.

 3. What are the treatments for breast cancer?

There are several types of treatment for breast cancer. This depends on the type of cancer and degree of dissemination. People with breast cancer often receive more than one type of treatment. Listed below are currently available:

  • Surgery
  • Radiotherapy
  • Chemotherapy
  • Hormone therapy: is the administration of generally oral hormones that block the action of estrogen on breast cancer cells, preventing their proliferation, so the tumor may decrease in size or even disappear. There are various drugs available today; the best known is that Tamoxifen, which works by blocking estrogen receptors in breast cells, thus preventing them from growing and dividing. In women with early-stage tumors that have positive hormone receptors and are pre-menopausal, tamoxifen is usually given for 5 to 10 years after surgery in order to reduce the risk of disease recurrence in the other breast or in other organs.
  • Biological therapy: malignant tumor cells are able to produce different proteins to produce normal cells. This is due to alterations in gene expression or changes thereof. One case is the altered expression of the HER2 protein. When found in a very high amount on the surface of the tumor cell it is called “overexpression”. This biological characteristic of the tumor cell has been linked to more aggressive tumor, increased risk of relapse and shorter survival. About 20 to 30% of breast cancers overexpress the HER2 protein that acts as a cell membrane receptor for growth factors. There are other membrane proteins of similar characteristics called “family of growth factor receptors” (EGFR family). Few drugs have been discovered which nullify or inhibit the action of this protein HER2. There are, today, active drugs in breast cancers overexpressing HER2.


mamaOvarian cancer is cancer that originates in any part of the ovaries, the female reproductive organs that produce eggs. The ovaries are composed of three major cell types: every cell type can be developed into a different tumor type. Epithelial tumors arise from cells that cover the outer surface of the ovary. Most ovarian tumors are epithelial cell tumors. Germ cell tumors arise from cells that produce eggs and stromal tumors start from structural tissue cells that hold the ovary together and produce the female hormones estrogen and progesterone. Most ovarian cancers arise after menopause.


Biomaker Evidence Type Molecular Alteration
Therapeutic Implications
Analysis Methodology*
Test ID
BRCA1 y BRCA2 Routine Predictive Somatic Mutations PARP Inhibitor Sensitivity (Olaparib) NGS MoBA12ng

* NGS: Next-Generation Sequencing

1. What do the statistics about ovarian cancer indicate?

Ovarian cancer is the fifth leading cause of cancer deaths among women and is responsible for more deaths than any other cancer of the female reproductive system. The risk of a woman developing ovarian cancer during her lifetime is about 1 in 75. The chance of dying from ovarian cancer during her lifetime is about 1 in 100. (These figures do not include ovarian tumors with low malignant potential). This cancer arises mainly in elderly women. About half of the women diagnosed with ovarian cancer are 63 years or older. It is more common in white women than in black women. The rate of women diagnosed with ovarian cancer has been slowly declining for the past 20 years.

2. What are the risk factors for ovarian cancer?

The risk of ovarian cancer includes any of the following factors:

  • Older women have a higher risk of developing ovarian cancer. Most deaths from this cancer occur in women 55 and older.
  • The fewer children a woman has and the later in life she gives birth, the higher the risk of developing this type of cancer.
  • Women with a personal history of breast cancer or a family history of breast or ovarian cancer have a higher risk of this cancer due to abnormalities in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes.
  • Women who take estrogen replacement only (not with progesterone) for 5 years or more may have a higher risk of ovarian cancer. However, birth control pills decrease the risk of this cancer.

3. What are the treatments for ovarian cancer?

Surgery is used to treat all stages of ovarian cancer, chemotherapy is then used to treat any remaining disease. Currently customized therapies have been added requiring that the mutational analysis of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes are to be identified.

This section presents a classification of molecular studies currently available. This website information has been supervised by our BIOMAKERS specialists’ team. The recommendations present here do not aim to substitute the guidelines of medical societies or the oncological treatment guidelines currently available.

Consulted Sources:

National Institute of Cancer
Center for Control and Prevention of Diseases
American Cancer Society
My Cancer Genome

Cáncer de Pulmón
Cáncer Colorrectal
Cáncer de Mama y Ovarios
Cáncer de Tiroides
Cáncer Melanoma
Tumores Sistema Nervioso
Leucemia Mieloide
Linfoma y Mieloma
Estroma Gastrointestinal
Tumores Hereditarios
Toxicidad y Metabolismo
Paneles Tumorales