Targeted Pathways in Breast Cancer: Molecular and Protein Markers Guiding Therapeutic Decisions

Author(s): Helen P. Kourea, Vassiliki Zolota, Chrisoula D. Scopa.

Journal Name: Current Molecular Pharmacology

Volume 7 , Issue 1 , 2014

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Abstract:

Breast carcinoma is currently considered as a group of diseases, differing not only in histopathologic phenotype, as indicated by histologic type and grade, but also in their protein, genetic and epigenetic molecular profile. The standard of care indicates that the core information for patient management includes data on Estrogen Receptor (ER), Progesterone Receptor (PgR) and Human Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor 2 (HER2), while there is an emerging role for the proliferation marker Ki67. These indices can be provided even in low resource settings and are indispensable for prognostication and therapeutic patient management. With the progress in molecular and translational research, there is a growing body of information on the molecular subtypes of breast carcinoma and their significance, and multigene signature assays are used to dictate prognosis and guide therapeutics in high resource settings. In addition, several cellular pathways involved in tumor growth and spread are dissected and targeted in clinical trials. Among these are the p53, RB, PI3K/Akt/mTOR and Ras/MAPK pathways, alterations associated with genetic instability and epigenetic alterations including histone methylation and acetylation, DNA methylation and microRNAs expression. The tumor immune microenvironment, including the tumor infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) is attracting significant research interest. This review summarizes the mechanisms of function of the above factors in breast tumorigenesis with emphasis on their prognostic and predictive value and their use as therapeutic targets.

Keywords: Biomarkers, Breast carcinoma, ER/PgR, HER2, Ki67, miRNAs, molecular signatures, prognostic/predictive, TILs.

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Article Details

VOLUME: 7
ISSUE: 1
Year: 2014
Page: [4 - 21]
Pages: 18
DOI: 10.2174/187446720701150105170830

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