Two different studies, two different types of cancer, and two different results based on family history of breast and prostate cancer.  As the first report indicates family history makes a difference on how genetic profiles can give additional information on the rate of spreading, while the other report relating to prostate cancer shows that family history makes no difference when it comes to treatment outcomes. 

If nothing more this goes to show how varied and how types of cancer vary, again even though the breast cancer report is relative early with results being reported with mice, but we all know how breast cancer appears to be cured and then perhaps years later returns.  The prostate study appears to be statistically reported relating to the “seeding” radiation treatment, while the breast cancer report involves additional research from the genomics side of the coin.  A similar treatment plan for breast cancer is available using the “seeding” technique and is called a Mammosite and more information on breast cancer “seeding techniques” can be read here.  BD 

New research in mice and five independent collections of human breast tumors has enabled National Cancer Institute (NCI) scientists to confirm that genes for factors contributing to susceptibility for breast cancer metastasis can be inherited. The new findings support earlier results from the same laboratory and appear in the Jan. 1, 2009, issue of Cancer Research.

The study results also show that gene activities in tumor cells and immune cells that infiltrate, or invade, tumors can contribute to the development of expression profiles, called gene signatures, that are predictive of cancer progression. The analysis of normal mouse tissue as well as tumors transplanted into mice suggests that predictive, or prognostic, gene signatures that point to a tumor’s potential for spreading throughout the body can be the result of both inherited and non-inherited factors, with inherited factors being more consistently predictive. The research team that reported these findings is from the Center for Cancer Research at NCI, which is part of the National Institutes of Health.

Inherited Factors Play an Important Role in Breast Cancer Progression According to New Study in Mice, January 1, 2009 News Release - National Institutes of Health (NIH)

In a first of its kind study, a first-degree family history of prostate cancer has no impact on the treatment outcomes of prostate cancer patients treated with brachytherapy (also called seed implants), and patients with this type of family history have clinical and pathologic characteristics similar to men with no family history at all, according to a January 1 study in the International Journal of Radiation Oncology*Biology*Physics, the official journal of the American Society for Radiation Oncology.

"This information is relevant for both physicians and patients with new diagnoses as they embark on complex treatment decisions," Christopher A. Peters, M.D., lead author of the study and a radiation oncologist at Northeast Radiation Oncology Center in Dunmore, Pa. (chief resident at Mount Sinai School of Medicine at the time of the study), said. "Now patients with a family history of prostate cancer can be confident that they have the same outcomes as patients with sporadic disease, regardless of the treatment modality they chose."

Related Reading:

Breast Cancer Treatments – What is a MammoSite?
Personalized treatment for breast cancer
What is Lymphedema?
Cancer Isn't One Size Fits All – Robin Roberts from ABC and Breast Cancer
Breast Cancer May Regress On Own, Controversial Report Says Up To 22 Percent Of Cases May Disappear Without Treatment


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