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HudsonAlpha making advances in breast cancer research

During the virtual Tie the Ribbons event, HudsonAlpha researchers gave updates on recent advances being made in detecting cancer and personalizing treatments.

HUNTSVILLE, Alabama — The COVID-19 pandemic has stopped a lot of things, but it has not stopped HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology from continuing cancer research.

HudsonAlpha held a virtual Tie the Ribbons event on Thursday to raise money for breast and ovarian cancer research. During the event, researchers gave updates on recent advances being made in detecting cancer, identifying factors that drive tumor growth, and personalizing treatment decisions.

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Associate Professor of Oncological Sciences at the University of Utah, K-T Varley, noted during the event that about 15% of women who are diagnosed with breast cancer have triple negative breast cancer. She says even after heavy treatment, the cancer will recur in 40% of women within 5 years of their diagnosis.

During their research, they've come up with a biomarker test to figure out the risk of recurrence in triple negative breast cancer patients. They are working to use that test to personalize treatment.

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"We're now planning several clinical trials that will use this biomarker test to analyze patients' tumor biopsies and enroll them in different clinical trials," said Varley.

They say this could be the first clinical test for personalized medicine for people with triple negative breast cancer.

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