Gene Expression Profiling in Human Breast Cancer – Toward Personalised Therapeutics?
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The most integrated approach toward understanding the multiple molecular events and mechanisms by which cancer may develop is the application of gene expression profiling using microarray technologies. As molecular alterations in breast cancer are complex and involve cross-talk between multiple cellular signalling pathways, microarray technology provides a means of capturing and comparing the expression patterns of the entire genome across multiple samples in a high throughput manner. Since the development of microarray technologies, together with the advances in RNA extraction methodologies, gene expression studies have revolutionised the means by which genes suitable as targets for drug development and individualised cancer treatment can be identified. As of the mid-1990s, expression microarrays have been extensively applied to the study of cancer and no cancer type has seen as much genomic attention as breast cancer. The most abundant area of breast cancer genomics has been the clarification and interpretation of gene expression patterns that unite both biological and clinical aspects of tumours. It is hoped that one day molecular profiling will transform diagnosis and therapeutic selection in human breast cancer toward more individualised regimes. Here, we review a number of prominent microarray profiling studies focussed on human breast cancer and examine their strengths, their limitations, clinical implications including prognostic relevance and gene signature significance along with potential improvements for the next generation of microarray studies.
The Open Breast Cancer Journal
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