Patent of the Week: Identifying High-Risk Triple Negative Breast Cancer Patients

Patent of the Week

Triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) is the most aggressive type of breast cancer and has the least favorable prognosis, as there are fewer targeted medicines available.

Accounting for about 10-20% of breast cancers, according to the American Cancer Society, TNBC also is more likely to spread (metastasize) and is more likely to recur after treatment.

“New tools to classify TNBCs are urgently required in order to improve our prognostic capability and predict response to therapy,” according to researchers, who have used a novel optimization strategy to define a gene expression signature, BACH1 Pathway Metastasis Signature (BPMS).

Using this signature, researchers are able to stratify patients with “apparent good prognosis” and those at the highest risk – enabling the use of targeted therapies to improve treatment.

As explained by the researchers – including Marsha Rosner, Charles B. Huggins Professor of Ben May Department of Cancer Research – the potential clinical impact of the BPMS relates primarily to targeted therapy and its ability to “significantly” enhance the ability to predict future prognosis for patients.

“The goal of personalized medicine is to provide a single patient with detailed information that uniquely categorizes that individual, indicating a personalized course of treatment. To that end, the BPMS can be used to identify a high risk cohort of patients in which our signaling pathway is driving metastatic events,” they said.

“With this information, it may be possible to provide targeted therapy for individuals classified as BPMS-positive using our knowledge of the signaling pathway. Further application of our methodology may also be used to identify different signaling pathways that drive similar metastatic events in breast or other tumor types.”

Rosner also has filed a patent for a low dose, multi-drug cocktail for the treatment of metastatic and resistant breast cancers.

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// Patent of the Week is a weekly column highlighting research and inventions from University of Chicago faculty.



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