There are > 1.15 million cases of breast cancer diagnosed worldwide annually, and it is the second leading cause of cancer death in the European Union. The optimum management of patients with breast cancer requires accurate prognostic and predictive factors. At present, only a small number of such factors are used clinically. DNA microarrays have the potential to measure the expression of tens of thousands of genes simultaneously. Recent preliminary findings suggest that DNA microarray-based gene expression profiling can provide powerful and independent prognostic information in patients with newly diagnosed breast cancer. As well as providing prognostic information, emerging results suggest that DNA microarrays can also be used for predicting response or resistance to treatment, especially to neoadjuvant chemotherapy. Prior to clinical application, these preliminary findings must be validated using large-scale prospective studies. This article reviews these advances and also examines the role of DNA microarrays in reducing the number of patients who receive inappropriate chemotherapy. The most recent data supporting the integration of various publicly available data sets is also reviewed in detail.
University College Dublin ->