Gene signatures in breast cancer: current and future uses

Transl Oncol. 2012 Dec;5(6):398-403. doi: 10.1593/tlo.12244. Epub 2012 Dec 1.


Gene signatures have been developed for estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer to complement pathological factors in providing prognostic information. The 70-gene and the 21-gene signatures identify patients who may not require adjuvant chemotherapy. Gene signatures in triple-negative disease and HER2-positive disease have not been fully developed yet, although studies demonstrate heterogeneity within these subgroups. Further research is needed before genotyping will help in making clinical decisions in triple-negative and HER2-positive disease. Molecular subtyping of breast cancer led to define luminal, basal, and HER2-enriched subtypes, which have specific clinical behavior. This approach may lead to identify new subgroups requiring specific therapies. Standardization of techniques will be required to translate investigations to the clinic.