The Evolving Role of Molecular Markers in the Diagnosis of Breast Cancer pp. 89-116
Authors: Danh Tran-Thanh, Susan J. Done, Department of Pathology, University Health Network, Toronto, Ontario, Canada and others
Abstract: Accurate pathological assessment is at the center of the diagnosis of breast cancer. This article will review current standards of pathological assessment of breast cancer specimens. Currently, the most widely employed molecular tests are immunohistochemical assessments of hormone receptor and HER-2 receptor status. With advances in molecular biology our understanding of the development of breast cancer is changing. There will be a discussion of recent molecular profiling studies in breast cancer and how our view of the classification of breast cancer is changing. The current role of molecular tests in the management of breast cancer will be addressed, highlighting their strengths and limitations. Desirable attributes for new markers will be presented. Going forward it is important that new tests do more than reinforce the information we have already but add additional information to each case. Finally, a vision of the role of molecular pathology in breast cancer management in the future will be presented.