Biomarkers predicting clinical benefit: Fact or fiction?

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Preoperative therapy is increasingly used in operable disease to improve the chance for breast-conservative surgery. Moreover, this strategy allows for a better definition of patient prognosis. Independently from stage at diagnosis and breast cancer subtype, the achievement of a pathological complete response (pCR) is a surrogate marker for long-term outcome. The likelihood of pCR depends on tumor biology, being poorly differentiated tumors with ductal histology, absence of hormone receptors, and high proliferation rate those with a higher chance of achieving a CR. However, pCR is a late efficacy parameter that can be evaluated at the end of the preoperative treatment; moreover, a pCR is achieved in a minority of patients and is not an appropriate efficacy measure for neoadjuvant endocrine therapy. The predictive role of tumor biomarkers such as p53, microtubule-associated tau protein, and poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase will be reviewed along with potential markers of early treatment effect.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-66
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of the National Cancer Institute - Monographs
Issue number43
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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