The AURORA initiative for metastatic breast cancer

D. Zardavas, M. Maetens, A. Irrthum, T. Goulioti, K. Engelen, D. Fumagalli, R. Salgado, P. Aftimos, K. S. Saini, C. Sotiriou, P. Campbell, P. Dinh, G. Von Minckwitz, R. D. Gelber, M. Dowsett, A. Di Leo, D. Cameron, J. Baselga, M. Gnant, A. GoldhirschL. Norton, M. Piccart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Metastatic breast cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer-related mortality among women in the Western world. To date most research efforts have focused on the molecular analysis of the primary tumour to dissect the genotypes of the disease. However, accumulating evidence supports a molecular evolution of breast cancer during its life cycle, with metastatic lesions acquiring new molecular aberrations. Recognising this critical gap of knowledge, the Breast International Group is launching AURORA, a large, multinational, collaborative metastatic breast cancer molecular screening programme. Approximately 1300 patients with metastatic breast cancer who have received no more than one line of systemic treatment for advanced disease will, after giving informed consent, donate archived primary tumour tissue, as well as will donate tissue collected prospectively from the biopsy of metastatic lesions and blood. Both tumour tissue types, together with a blood sample, will then be subjected to next generation sequencing for a panel of cancer-related genes. The patients will be treated at the discretion of their treating physicians per standard local practice, and they will be followed for clinical outcome for 10 years. Alternatively, depending on the molecular profiles found, patients will be directed to innovative clinical trials assessing molecularly targeted agents. Samples of outlier patients considered as 'exceptional responders' or as 'rapid progressors' based on the clinical follow-up will be subjected to deeper molecular characterisation in order to identify new prognostic and predictive biomarkers. AURORA, through its innovative design, will shed light onto some of the unknown areas of metastatic breast cancer, helping to improve the clinical outcome of breast cancer patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1881-1887
Number of pages7
JournalBritish Journal of Cancer
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Nov 11 2014


  • breast cancer
  • metastatic
  • molecular profiling
  • next generation sequencing
  • targeted clinical trials

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


Dive into the research topics of 'The AURORA initiative for metastatic breast cancer'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this