A Personalized, Proactive Approach to Preventing Breast Cancer Recurrence | Penn Precision Medicine

(gentle music) – More than three million
women in the United States are living with a
diagnosis of breast cancer, and up to 30% will ultimately
die from their disease. Nearly all of these deaths will
be due to cancer recurrence. Imagine that breast
cancer is like dandelion. Before you even notice it’s there, thousands of its seeds have
scattered across your lawn, waiting for the right conditions to wake up and start growing. In that same way, many women successfully
treated for breast cancer still have microscopic,
disseminated tumor cells, or DTCs, in their bodies. Because DTCs are the reservoir from which recurrent cancers arise, these women have an increased
risk of tumor recurrence. Unfortunately, current imaging methods can’t detect these cells
and there isn’t a test that can accurately
predict who will relapse. Imagine a test that
could sensitively detect and determine the molecular
properties of DTCs at a single cell level. This would make it possible to accurately identify those patients at greatest risk for recurrence, offer them targeted therapies based on the specific
properties of their DTCs, and determine whether those
therapies were effective. A powerful tool like
this could help us find and eradicated DTCs
before they can give rise to incurable, recurrent cancers. This would enable a personalized, proactive approach to preventing
breast cancer mortality. In collaboration with
doctors Angie DeMichele, as well as Jonni Moore, Michael Feldman, and a team of scientists at
the Abramson Cancer Center and the Penn Center
for Precision Medicine, we’re building that tool. Together, we’re focused on changing how we treat breast cancer. I’m Dr. Lewis Chodosh and this is Precision Medicine at Penn. (gentle, optimistic music)

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