Study Finds This Genetic Marker May Predict Your Response to Tamoxifen

A study has found a surprising manner of predicting how breast cancer patients will will respond to treatment with the popular drug tamoxifen. Hendrika M. Oosterkamp, an oncologist with the Netherlands Cancer Institute in Amsterdam, along with her colleagues, focused their research exclusively on females afflicted with estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer. The study was done on ZR-75-1 luminal breast cancer cells, measuring correlations between the patients’ loss of specific genes and their receptiveness to tamoxifen.

Ultimately, the study was able to isolate a gene, USP9X, that pertains directly to tamoxifen reception. In patients whose breast cancer had caused the loss of function of the gene USP9X, response to tamoxifen was drastically less effective at reducing cancer cells. This data, when considered alongside that of 680 patients who had been treated postoperatively with tamoxifen, confirmed the hypothesis of the study.

As cancer treatment evolves, this research may prove invaluable in determining which courses of action to take for patients afflicted with estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer.

Photo: Adobe Stock/3dmentat
Photo: Adobe Stock/3dmentat

According to the Oncology Nurse Advisor, though the research is still comparatively new, Oosterkamp and her colleagues seem optimistic that it can have an impact as a marker for how to treat cancer patients.

Ultimately, Oosterkamp and her colleagues believe that using USP9X as a biomarker may be groundbreaking in determining treatment plans for breast cancer patients. And getting the right cancer treatment the first time means a better chance of success and less time, money, and energy spent on things that aren’t likely to work.

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