Breast Cancer: Current Developments in Molecular Approaches to Diagnosis and Treatment
Jo-Anne de la Mare, Lara Contu, Morgan C. Hunter, Buhle Moyo, Jason N. Sterrenberg, Karim C.H. Dhanani, Lorraine Z. Mutsvunguma and Adrienne L. Edkins
Affiliation: Biomedical Biotechnology Research Unit (BioBRU), Department of Biochemistry, Microbiology and Biotechnology, Rhodes University, P.O. Box 94, Grahamstown, 6140, South Africa.
Due to the high heterogeneity of breast cancers, numerous recent patents describe improved methods of detection
and classification which promise better patient prognosis and treatment. In particular, there has been a shift towards
more effective genetic screening to identify specific mutations associated with breast tumours, which may lead to “personalised
medicine” with improved outcomes. Two challenging areas of breast cancer research involve the development
of treatments for the highly aggressive triple negative breast cancer subtype as well as the chemotherapy-resistant cancer
stem cell subpopulation. In addition, despite numerous recent advances in breast cancer treatment in woman, male breast
cancer remains poorly understood and there are limited therapies available which are developed specifically for men. This
review serves to report on important developments in the treatment of breast malignancies patented in the past two years
as well as to highlight the current gaps in the field of breast cancer therapeutics and areas which require further study.
Keywords: Breast cancer, cancer stem cells, chemotherapy, classification, prognosis, screening.
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