Experts use gene-based diagnosis to tailor breast cancer treatment, from Harvard Women's Health Watch

Breast cancer, once thought to be a single disease, is turning out to be a collection of somewhat different disorders. That knowledge is tempering the approach to treatment as experts begin using gene-based information to individualize therapies, reports the October 2009 issue of Harvard Women's Health Watch.

A key focus of breast cancer research today is identifying specific genes and protein receptors that can distinguish resistant forms of cancer from those that are easier to eradicate. In the process, it has become clear that breast cancer comes in different forms that respond to varying treatments.

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