Rebba Martin Says Discovery of Breast Cancer Subtypes May Lead to Discovery of a Cure

Rebba Martin, President, Breast Cancer Help, Inc., says the recent discovery of four subtypes of breast cancer means that researchers are one step closer to finding a cure for the disease and that breast cancer can be properly treated.

In a study that was published online by Nature on September 23, researchers discovered four subtypes of breast cancer, each with a unique genetic and molecular signature: luminal A, luminal B, HER2 and basal-like — one of the deadliest subtypes of breast cancer. The discovery was made after analyzing 348 tumors from women with breast cancer using various technologies; researchers also found that there was a close relationship between ovarian tumors and breast tumors.

Basal-like tumors account for 10 percent of all breast cancers and include most triple-negative tumors that do not respond to hormone therapies or chemotherapy. Ms. Martin says that, now that these subtypes have been identified, researchers can come closer to finding a cure for the disease by providing therapies and treatments specifically tailored to each subtype.

“This discovery is great news for women, especially those who have been diagnosed with having basal-like tumors,” she said. “With the genetic research that is being done for breast cancer, we are one step closer to finding a cure for this dreaded disease. I hope and pray that a cure will be found during my lifetime, so all our children and grandchildren would never have to fear getting breast cancer. It is also important for us here on Long Island, where the incidence of breast cancer is very high.”

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