This chapter provides a general overview of breast cancer, including the relevance of measuring gene expression in the primary breast tumor in relation to the progression of the disease and the tumor response to treatment. To better understand the concept of breast cancer, extra emphasis will be put on breast cancer subtypes, staging and grading, and the tumor micro-environment that harbors the epithelial cancer cells. Currently available biomarkers to assess outcome of breast cancer patients in general (i.e. prognosis) as well as biomarkers currently available to assess patient outcome in response to therapy (i.e. prediction) will be discussed. After this it should become clear that there is still an urgent need for new biomarkers. How this search for additional biomarkers can be achieved by measuring mRNAgene expression in the primary tumor of patients diagnosed with breast cancer, will be explained in more detail.

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Klijn, Prof. Dr. J.G.M. (promotor)
J.G.M. Klijn (Jan)
Erasmus University Rotterdam
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Sieuwerts, A. (2007, December 5). Prognostic and predictive testing of molecular markers in breast cancer by real-time quantitative PCR. Retrieved from