A new diagnostic tool for breast cancer that will allow doctors to look at the genetic makeup of tumors to personalize treatment could be available later this year, researchers said on Wednesday. Alane Koki, chief scientific officer of the French biotechnology company Ipsogen, told a conference the test will provide genetic information about the tumor to help doctors select the best treatment for the patient. "Understanding differences in gene expression can help both patients and clinicians to decide what treatment would be most effective and appropriate with a personalized approach," Koki told the Fourth European Breast Cancer Conference.
The Breast Cancer Profile Chip uses microarray technology to look at the genetic signature of the tumor. Microarray enables scientists to analyze the expression of many genes at the same time. The technology has been used mainly in research, but Koki said the BCPC, which is being tested and should be ready by the summer, will be available to pathology laboratories. "The BCPC will simultaneously measure expression of more than 900 important genes to augment conventional methods to clinically assess breast cancer," said Koki. The company is also planning clinical trials of the test to determine how it can optimize the treatment of breast cancer, which accounts for about a quarter of all cancers in European women.