The scientists from the University of Southampton found that inherited variation in a specific gene might be the primary reason for the higher death rates in women diagnosed with early-onset breast cancer.
Breast cancer is considered as one of the most dreadful diseases responsible for causing cancer-related death in women. Nearly 450,000 patients die every year worldwide. However, women, who are aged between 15-39 and are diagnosed with breast cancer, possess a lower chance of surviving than older women. The only difference for this can be the adverse types of tumour that occurs in younger women. However, age itself is a big risk factor.
The Southampton study focused on which kind of factors, other than the features of the cancer tissues, might be responsible for lowering the rate of survival in younger women. The Southampton study is being considered as a major breakthrough in the field of cancer research, as it focuses on the connection between genes and breast cancer survival rate in women aged 40 years or under.
Scientists discovered that a certain gene variation called the single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in a specific gene, ADAMTSL1 might be responsible for increasing the risk of disease progression in patients with early onset of the disease. Studies such as this basically show how a certain type of genetic variation might be linked to the patient's survival rate. The study was published in the journal Nature Communications.
"The findings could eventually be used to improve the accuracy of estimates of disease progression, helping clinicians and patients to choose the most effective treatments," said lead author William Tapper.
"This is a significant discovery with exciting implications for the future diagnosis and treatment of early-onset breast cancer patients," continued Tapper.
" Our findings increase our understanding of the genes and pathways that are involved in breast cancer prognosis, and may provide new targets for the development of novel therapies," said he.
In addition, the researchers led by Tapper are looking forward to conducting additional studies to improve the accuracy of the disease progression and provide patients with better treatments.