The recent news from the Mayo Clinic makes a great follow-up to yesterday's blog about personalized breast cancer therapy.
Researchers from the Mayo Clinic studied tissue samples from 85 breast cancer patients and compared them to noncancerous breast biopsies collected from the same women. The reason for examining the tissue itself is because two breast tissue structures, lobules and acini, normally decline with age and if these structures are not mostly gone by age 55, the risk of breast cancer increases dramatically.
This study reported that an increasing number of acini and an increasing number of lobules were both associated with an increase in breast cancer risk. Using this information, the researchers developed a model to estimate individual breast cancer risk. This new, individualized model was more accurate at predicting breast cancer risk than the breast cancer risk assessment tools I discussed in my earlier blog.