Adding the drug trastuzumab to chemotherapy prevents cancer recurrence and improves survival in a large number of women with early stage HER2-positive breast cancer. But trastuzumab does not stop tumors from returning in about 25 percent of patients — and oncologists haven't been able to identify these women before treatment. This situation may soon change, according to a Mayo Clinic study being presented at the 2012 CTRC-AACR San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium. A team of U.S. researchers, led by oncologists at Mayo Clinic's campus in Florida, have discovered 27 genes that are significantly associated with a good outcome with concurrent use of trastuzumab and chemotherapy, as well as five other genes linked to a poor outcome using the same treatment regimen.
Among the research institutions NCI funds across the United States, it currently designates 67 as Cancer Centers. Largely based in research universities, these facilities are home to many of the NCI-supported scientists who conduct a wide range of intense, laboratory research into cancer’s origins and development. The Cancer Centers Program also focuses on trans-disciplinary research, including population science and clinical research. The centers’ research results are often at the forefront of studies in the cancer field.