Researchers find link between breast, ovarian cancer

2 cancers may be attacked with similar therapies

Published On: Sep 24 2012 05:31:27 PM CDT   Updated On: Sep 24 2012 06:01:16 PM CDT
Mammogram
HOUSTON -

A breakthrough discovery in the fight against breast and ovarian cancer: Scientists said there's a genetic link between breast and ovarian cancers, suggesting the two may be attacked with similar therapies.

The findings are reshaping the scientific understanding of breast cancer.

Researchers found that one of the deadliest types of breast cancer is actually closer, genetically, to a kind of ovarian cancer than it is to other cancers originating in the breast.

The breast cancer study was based on analysis of tumors from 825 patients overall. The study identified four genetically distinct types of breast cancer.

The findings are expected to lead to new treatments with drugs already on the market for other cancers.

MD Anderson Cancer Center is currently focusing on individualized treatment.

This link between breast and ovarian cancer gives scientists added leverage to compare outcomes and treatments for both tumors.