Mayo Clinic: What's the role of tumor sequencing in women with breast cancer?

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In a new study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, researchers from Mayo Clinic reported results of a prospective tumor sequencing study in women receiving chemotherapy prior to breast surgery. The teams’ main goal was to determine whether tumor genomic alterations could differentiate patients with chemotherapy-sensitive and chemotherapy-resistant disease and to generate patient-derived xenografts to validate their findings.

“There is great interest to use tumor sequencing data to guide therapy,” said Matthew Goetz, MD, medical oncologist and co-chair of the Breast Cancer Genome-Guided Therapy (BEAUTY) study. “However, there are limited data as to whether this approach is useful in women with newly diagnosed breast cancer who are recommended chemotherapy prior to breast surgery.”

The BEAUTY study showed that targeted alterations were not enriched in chemotherapy-resistant tumors, however, prioritization of drug testing based on sequence data may accelerate drug development.

“The long-term goal of the BEAUTY study is to enable individualized treatment for each woman with breast cancer by using the genetic information found in blood samples and tumor biopsies to select the most effective therapies,” said Judy Boughey, MD, breast surgeon and co-chair of the study. 

With this data at the forefront, researchers will now launch a successor study to bring forward new drugs to women with chemotherapy-resistant tumors.