Allelic loss in breast cancer
Breast cancer is the most prevalent cancer type in women and allelic loss constitutes one of the commonest genetic alterations in mammary neoplasias. Frequent detection of Loss of Heterozygosity indicates genes with putative tumour suppressor activity in breast carcinomas. Imbalance between two alleles might also be related with increased expression of an oncogene within a locus. Loci exhibiting frequent allelic loss in breast cancer have been detected, spread throughout the genome, and may contain genes with potential significance in breast carcinogenesis. Loss of Heterozygosity patterns in breast cancer give evidence for multiple clonality of the disease, and that accumulation of such lesions is probably implicated in disease development. Studies on deletions of known breast cancer genes suggest interactions with other common genetic events during disease initiation and progression. Allelic loss has been repeatedly associated with adverse characteristics and poor outcome in breast neoplasms. Detection of allelic loss in the serum of breast cancer patients and in premalignant breast lesions could herald the potential for diagnosis of the disease at an early, and thus curable, stage.
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