Singapore, Duke Scientists Identify Genes Underlying Distinct Group of Breast Tumors: Fibroepithelial Tumors, Benign & Malignant Forms

A team from the SingHealth Duke-NUS Academic Medical Centre, comprising scientists and clinicians from the National Cancer Centre Singapore (NCCS), Singapore General Hospital (SGH), and Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School, has uncovered the genetic landscape of a distinct breast tumor group called fibroepithelial tumors. Their study identified the culprit genes behind the formation and progression of these tumors, potentially improving the accuracy of breast cancer diagnosis and enhancing clinical intervention for patients with such tumors. The study's findings were published online on October 5, 2015 in Nature Genetics. The article is titled “Genomic Landscapes of Breast Fibroepithelial Tumors.” Fibroepithelial tumors are a distinct breast tumor group which includes two tumor types - fibroadenomas and phyllodes tumors. Fibroadenomas are the most common benign breast tumors in women of reproductive age, with thousands of women in Singapore and millions worldwide estimated to be diagnosed with fibroadenomas every year. Only last year, the team identified novel MED12 mutations in the majority of fibroadenomas, a finding that was also reported in Nature Genetics and has since attracted attention and interest worldwide. Now, they have charted the genetic landscape for fibroadenomas, as well as phyllodes tumors, another subtype of fibroepithelial tumors that have both benign and cancerous forms, the latter accounting for about two per cent of breast cancers in Singapore. "Breast cancer is the leading cancer affecting women in Singapore.
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