New research cited as 'road map' for understanding breast cancer
Charles Benson reports Video by wtmj.comvideo
MILWAUKEE- New research is being called a "new road map" to understanding breast cancer.
With this wealth of new knowledge, scientists are moving toward a day when they'll have treatments tailored for every breast cancer patient -- to fix the problem by knowing exactly what is broken.
The latest research fills in many of gaps in the the road map used to understand breast cancer -- opening the possibility of entirely new personalized treatments
"This is exciting," said cancer survivor Linda Short. "When you called and said: 'Did you hear?', it's like oh my gosh it's finally happened."
Short was diagnosed with breast cancer four years ago. She's very active with the Wisconsin Breast Cancer Showhouse. She hopes the new research will take some of the guess work out the equation.
"Guess work is great because you don't know, they say we could do this or we could do that and you try something," said Short.
There's new evidence that breast cancer is not one disease but four major types, and many subtypes. It also means some drugs used to treat other cancers might treat some breast cancer or perhaps offer clues for developing entirely new drugs. Clinical trials are still needed and doctors say that will take years.
"This isn't something that all can take action on tomorrow in the clinic," said Dr. Jennifer Litton at MD Anderson Cancer Center. "But it is how we are going to put together our next round of therapies and how we're going to forward to change this disease."
Short says it is good to see that research is making a difference. Her all-volunteer organization has donated more than $4 million for breast cancer and prostate cancer research.