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Tracking the genomic evolution of breast cancer metastasis

Davide Zecchin1 and Alberto Bardelli12*

Author Affiliations

1 Laboratory of Molecular Genetics, Institute for Cancer Research and Treatment, University of Turin Medical School, SP 142, km 3.95, I-10060 Candiolo, Turin, Italy

2 Italian Foundation for Cancer Research, Institute of Molecular Oncology, Via Adamello 16, 20139 Milan, Italy

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Breast Cancer Research 2010, 12:302  doi:10.1186/bcr2469

Published: 2 February 2010


Therapeutic choices for metastatic tumors are, in most cases, based upon the histological and molecular analysis of the corresponding primary tumor. Understanding whether and to what extent the genomic landscape of metastasis differs from the tumors from which they originated is critical yet largely unknown. A recent report tackled this key issue by comparing the genomic and transcriptional profile of a metastatic lobular breast tumor with that of the primary tumor surgically removed 9 years earlier. The extent of the differences suggests a high degree of mutational heterogeneity between primary and metastatic lesions and indicates that significant evolution occurs during breast cancer progression.