Dr. Ellis' program will refine and validate diagnostic signatures that identify five subtypes of breast tumors. The profiles will be refined by selecting the set of 100 genes that defines all subtypes. qRT-PCR assays will be developed to measure the profile in formalin fixed, paraffin embedded (FFPE) tissues. The ability of the signatures to identify two of the subsets, LumA and Lum B, among ER+, node negative breast cancer patients who will not benefit from chemotherapy will be evaluated. The signature will also be evaluated to determine if it can predict which patients will respond to specific chemotherapies. The predictor will be validated in three CLIA-approved clinical laboratories at University of North Carolina (UNC), University of Utah and Washington University.
Parker JS et al (2009) Supervised Risk Predictor of Breast Cancer Based on Intrinsic Subtypes. J Clin Oncol. PMID: 19204204
This paper from the Ellis SPECS project describes the PAM50 assay, which can be run in a routine clinical laboratory setting to distinguish the “ intrinsic” subtypes of breast cancer. This signature will add useful information to the established diagnostic categories of breast cancer and help avoid either under- or over-treatment.