Identification of women at increased risk of fatal breast cancer
The number of newly diagnosed breast cancers is increasing throughout the world. In Sweden alone, every hour a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer and every sixth hour a woman dies from the disease. Who are the women that are at increased risk to develop fatal breast cancer?
Potentially aggressive breast cancers are interval cancers that occur symptomatically between screening rounds. These interval cancers are a combination of cancers missed at previous screening and fast growing cancers arising between two screening sessions. The latter, the fast growing cancers, are believed to have a different biology with a poorer prognosis than screening-detected cancers. Women with this type of breast cancer do currently not benefit from mammography screening. It has been proposed that the genetic background of a cancer patient may be essential for the metastatic ability of the tumor accentuating the host genome importance in metastatic efficiency. In this process, patient host characteristics may be essential for the ability of the breast cancer tumor to metastasize in creating a unique environment including tumor microenvironment encompassing immune as well as therapy response. Overall objective of this research proposal is to investigate the influence of genetic background on prognostically important features of the malignant phenotype.