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Breast Cancer Genes and Patient Protection in an Era of Personalized Medicine

Breast Cancer Genes and Patient Protection in an Era of Personalized Medicine | Breast Cancer News | Scoop.it

"Genetic testing is often heralded as a cornerstone in an imminent and exciting new age of personalized medicine, in which our health care is customized based on our individual genetic profiles. But let's not get carried away by the fantasy and promise; progress has lagged while persistent medical, ethical and scientific issues associated with genetic testing abound.

Last week, we witnessed a major step toward reigning in what has, until last year, been a veritable Wild West of genetic testing. On Monday, a U.S. District Court Judge in Utah decided that Myriad Genetics could not stop a competitor (Ambry Genetics) from offering commercial BRCA ("breast cancer gene") testing as their current legal suit winds through the courts. (Full disclosure: Breast Cancer Action filed an amicus brief in opposition to Myriad's request for an injunction, along with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Public Patent Foundation (PUBPAT), Association for Molecular Pathology (AMP), and the AARP, each of which was also involved in a multi-year lawsuit cited below which challenged Myriad's patent claims on the two BRCA genes.)

This somewhat esoteric legal battle between two biotech companies is instructive about what is at stake in the multi-million dollar genetic testing business as well as the broader issue of corporate influence in science and medicine. Last June, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that patents on human genes are illegal and ended Myriad's longstanding monopoly on the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, often called simply the "breast cancer" genes. Women's health advocates rejoiced that the ruling opened the door to newer, better and cheaper BRCA tests. Indeed, the very day the Court ruled, half a dozen labs, including Ambry Genetics, announced they would begin offering BRCA testing at a fraction of the cost of Myriad's BRCA Analysis Test (a staggering $4,000).

Many people rightly wonder how Myriad can sue other companies for patent infringement after the highest court in the land rescinded the company's monopoly rights on the BRCA genes. The short answer is that Myriad's ultimate goal may be less about winning these latest lawsuits and more about the lawsuits to stall the financial implications of the Supreme Courts' ruling, allowing them to hold onto their BRCA testing monopoly for as long as possible.

For many companies, particularly smaller biotechs, the threat of legal action means a choice between going under completely or giving in to a corporate giant with virtually unlimited resources. Just last month, another company that began providing BRCA testing after the Supreme Court's ruling settled with Myriad to end a lawsuit; Gene by Gene agreed in February not to market or sell clinical BRCA diagnostic tests in North America after Myriad's legal onslaught."

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This article by Karuna Jaggar, Executive Director of Breast Cancer Action, delves into the complexities of the actions of Myriad Genetics, as they try to illegally hold on to their patent of the BRCA gene test because they lost the lawsuit when the Supreme Court decided that they could not hold the monopoly on the test and patent human genes. Breast Cancer Action was one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit and now Myriad is trying to sue other companies, specifically Ambry Genetics who are willing to give the test for significantly less money than the price of Myriad. After the Supreme Court decision Myriad Genetics has been suing other companies for patent infringement, and while some are puzzled at their actions, they are trying to stall other companies as long as they can to make as much money as they can.

For smaller biotech companies the legal moves of Myriad make it difficult for them having to pay high costs to fight the suits that Myriad brings on them.

Karuna writes: "Finally, we should refuse to allow companies to hoard, for their own gain, our medical and bio-data collected through the process of testing." Companies that are doing genetic testing must be aware of the best needs of those that they are giving the test to, through open access databases that benefit in reliable shared information. 

Karuna concludes by writing:: "As our scientific and medical communities forge ahead in developing new technologies and tests that may help us better understand our individual risk of disease and our response to treatments, we should also insist that all genetic testing companies uphold the highest, patient-centered scientific and ethical standards."


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Fran Exposito's curator insight, October 31, 2014 1:28 PM

Is our society prepared to personalized medecine Era? From an overview of personalized medecine,  everything seems to be advantages but... will medecine professionals be able to protect patient identities without risking their right to health? Is everybody supporting the idea of sharing the  knowledge about cancer and make it accessible to everybody?

 

There are many issues that we have to take into account in these topics where ethics, science and economical interests collide fighting to find the righ balance to economical yield and health application for the patients benefict.  Big multinationals are trying to patent cancer genes related with cancer as it´s the case of two well known breast cancer genes (BRCA 1 and BRCA2). It´s very difficult to know if these companies have the right to patent this knowledge, ethics and patients data protection should be taken into consideration here.

 

Understanding scientific knowledge as a way to help society, in my opinion we shouldn´t  allow big biocompanies to store and make economical profit with our data because as it´s said in the article, this goes against science standards which are mainly to perform resarch to help society.

 

"As our scientific and medical communities forge ahead in developing new technologies and tests that may help us better understand our individual risk of disease and our response to treatments, we should also insist that all genetic testing companies uphold the highest, patient-centered scientific and ethical standards"

 

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As Drug Costs Soar, People Delay Or Skip Cancer Treatments

As Drug Costs Soar, People Delay Or Skip Cancer Treatments | Breast Cancer News | Scoop.it
Cancer patients increasingly delay or skip taking medication because they can't afford it. New drugs that can cost $100,000 or more a year mean more people suffering "financial toxicity."
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This is so upsetting. The cost of drugs is out of control. 

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This Lingerie Brand Cast Breast Cancer Survivors for Its NYFW Runway

This Lingerie Brand Cast Breast Cancer Survivors for Its NYFW Runway | Breast Cancer News | Scoop.it
Lingerie and loungewear label AnaOno, which caters to breast cancer survivors, showcased the beauty and strength of its clientele on its Spring 2017 runway.
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So proud of the AnaOno lingerie and loungewear label strutting their stuff on the NYFW Runway catering to breast cancer survivors! 

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Living Beyond Breast Cancer Creates Healthcare Newsroom To Provide Policy Updates

Living Beyond Breast Cancer Creates Healthcare Newsroom To Provide Policy Updates | Breast Cancer News | Scoop.it
PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 26, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --�To help people affected by breast cancer understand and prepare for changes to healthcare insurance policies that might affect them, Living Beyond Breast Cancer (LBBC) has created a
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Check out the great work being done at Living Beyond Breast Cancer 

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Drug trials funded by big pharmas could be biased

Drug trials funded by big pharmas could be biased | Breast Cancer News | Scoop.it
Experts, from the University of California San Francisco, found in 58 per cent of trials the lead investigator had at least some degree of financial tie to the firm that made the drug being tested.
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One Breath Into This Breathalyzer Can Diagnose 17 Diseases

One Breath Into This Breathalyzer Can Diagnose 17 Diseases | Breast Cancer News | Scoop.it
A new breathalyzer can detect 17 different diseases, including pre-eclampsia and chronic kidney disease, from a single breath.
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To see the original study go to: http://pubs.acs.org/doi/full/10.1021/acsnano.6b04930

 

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‘Miracle Patient’ Finds New Hope with Breast Cancer Vaccine

‘Miracle Patient’ Finds New Hope with Breast Cancer Vaccine | Breast Cancer News | Scoop.it
City of Hope patient Susan Young - diagnosed with late-stage triple negative breast cancer - has had a remarkable response to a revolutionary new treatment, a combination of the p53 cancer vaccine and a drug that blocks a specific cancer-aiding...
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This is truly remarkable. Hopefully it can help more people.
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George Cahill's curator insight, December 21, 2016 4:13 AM
12-21-2016
Irina Bcra's curator insight, December 27, 2016 3:37 AM

We are an independent charity that supports innovative breast cancer research across the UK.

We aim to help beat breast cancer and save lives by supporting ground-breaking research.

Through our fundraising we support research organisations to develop and run breast cancer research programmes. These programmes enable huge steps to be taken in improving the prevention and treatment of breast cancer – the most common type of cancer in the UK.

http://breastcancerresearchaid.org.uk/ 

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Methylation of Gene Panel May Help Predict Breast CA Survival --Doctors Lounge

Methylation of Gene Panel May Help Predict Breast CA Survival --Doctors Lounge | Breast Cancer News | Scoop.it
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Check this out!
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OncoCyte (OCX) Says Poster on Breast Cancer Diagnostic Test to Be Presented at SABCS

OncoCyte (OCX) Says Poster on Breast Cancer Diagnostic Test to Be Presented at SABCS | Breast Cancer News | Scoop.it
OncoCyte (OCX) Says Poster on Breast Cancer Diagnostic Test to Be Presented at SABCS
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Here's an example of liquid biopsy tests to be presented at SABCS.

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Take multiple biopsies in studies of personalised breast cancer treatments, study says

Take multiple biopsies in studies of personalised breast cancer treatments, study says | Breast Cancer News | Scoop.it
Clinicians should take multiple biopsies from patients in clinical trials of targeted breast cancer drugs to avoid missing key mutations with important implications for treatment, new research has found. Genetic profiling of patients' tumours using biopsies has become more common in recent years, helping to drive personalised therapy and ensure that patients receive the treatments most likely to be effective for them.
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Survivorship: Follow-Up Care | The American Society of Breast Surgeons Foundation

Survivorship: Follow-Up Care | The American Society of Breast Surgeons Foundation | Breast Cancer News | Scoop.it
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Novartis breast cancer drug gets FDA fast track, takes on Pfizer

Novartis breast cancer drug gets FDA fast track, takes on Pfizer | Breast Cancer News | Scoop.it

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration gave fast-track review status to Novartis's medication ribociclib in first-line treatment of postmenopausal women with advanced breast cancer as the Swiss company seeks to challenge Pfizer's Ibrance drug.

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Always wonder when there's a new drug like Novartis' ribocibib  competing with Pfizer's drug Ibrance , does it helps metastatic breast cancer patients by improving the drug? In this article, t's hard to tell. 

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The Case Against The Case Against Mammography

The Case Against The Case Against Mammography | Breast Cancer News | Scoop.it
The overdiagnosis campaign reflects a lack of respect for women’s capacity to act rationally upon receiving an abnormal test result.
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Great Article by Elaine Schattner, putting a real analysis on the issue for patients. It's shocking they are making this report on mammography based on 2002 data.

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Crowdsourcing effort takes aim at deadliest breast cancers

Crowdsourcing effort takes aim at deadliest breast cancers | Breast Cancer News | Scoop.it
A new project aims to gather molecular and genetic clues from metastatic breast cancer patients in hopes of finding new and better ways of treating patients
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Big Pharma Quietly Enlists Leading Professors to Justify $1,000-Per-Day Drugs

Big Pharma Quietly Enlists Leading Professors to Justify $1,000-Per-Day Drugs | Breast Cancer News | Scoop.it
As it readies for battle with President Trump over drug prices, the pharmaceutical industry is deploying economists and health care experts from the nation’s top universities. In scholarly articles, blogs and conferences, they lend their prestige to the lobbying blitz, without always disclosing thei
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This article is long but well worth reading. It makes one wonder why the pharmaceutical industry practices in the US has never been part of the conversation of how we can improve the Affordable Care Act. 

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Revolutionary Israeli device can eliminate need for follow-up breast cancer surgery

Revolutionary Israeli device can eliminate need for follow-up breast cancer surgery | Breast Cancer News | Scoop.it
MarginProbe, which checks tumor's edges while lumpectomy patient is still on operating table, is already in use in over 100 US hospitals
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While the article is overpraising the device as eliminating the need for follow up surgery since no device can ever predict that, it still is a great new tool. 

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Enzymes' Role in Breast Cancers That Are Estrogen Receptor-positive ID'd

Enzymes' Role in Breast Cancers That Are Estrogen Receptor-positive ID'd | Breast Cancer News | Scoop.it
In a study, scientists identified the enzymes LATS1 and LATS2 as key in the development and treatment of estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer.
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Do Screening Mammograms Cut Breast Cancer Deaths Or Lead To Overtreatment? Probably Both

Do Screening Mammograms Cut Breast Cancer Deaths Or Lead To Overtreatment? Probably Both | Breast Cancer News | Scoop.it
A new study of Danish women suggests that screening mammography detects many tumors that might not have ever harmed women.
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So the debate continues about mammograms. This article looks at both sides of the issue,. Rita Rubin writes about the factors where screening could be ineffective, yet recognizing that the biggest problem is that they still don't know which tumors are going to spread. The article also recognizes the metastatic breast cancer problem as the deaths just keep coming.. With MBC we have to do better. 

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Beware of Predatory Cancer Testing Companies

Beware of Predatory Cancer Testing Companies | Breast Cancer News | Scoop.it
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What a terrible cancer scam rip off!
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Irina Bcra's curator insight, December 27, 2016 3:37 AM

We are an independent charity that supports innovative breast cancer research across the UK.

We aim to help beat breast cancer and save lives by supporting ground-breaking research.

Through our fundraising we support research organisations to develop and run breast cancer research programmes. These programmes enable huge steps to be taken in improving the prevention and treatment of breast cancer – the most common type of cancer in the UK.

http://breastcancerresearchaid.org.uk/ 

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Tumor Evolution in Two Patients with Basal-like Breast Cancer: A Retrospective Genomics Study of Multiple Metastases

Tumor Evolution in Two Patients with Basal-like Breast Cancer: A Retrospective Genomics Study of Multiple Metastases | Breast Cancer News | Scoop.it
Charles Perou and colleagues report on somatic mutations in primary tumors and metastases from two patients with basal-like breast cancer.
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Irina Bcra's curator insight, December 27, 2016 3:37 AM

We are an independent charity that supports innovative breast cancer research across the UK.

We aim to help beat breast cancer and save lives by supporting ground-breaking research.

Through our fundraising we support research organisations to develop and run breast cancer research programmes. These programmes enable huge steps to be taken in improving the prevention and treatment of breast cancer – the most common type of cancer in the UK.

http://breastcancerresearchaid.org.uk/ 

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Trend No. 1 — Cancer MoonShot

Trend No. 1 — Cancer MoonShot | Breast Cancer News | Scoop.it
This historic collaborative initiative aims to accelerate the potential of immunotherapy as the next generation standard of care for cancer.
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Cancer drugs, survival, and ethics

Cancer drugs, survival, and ethics | Breast Cancer News | Scoop.it
Despite considerable investment and innovation, chemotherapy drugs have had little effect on survival in adults with metastatic cancer.
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Irina Bcra's curator insight, December 27, 2016 3:38 AM

We are an independent charity that supports innovative breast cancer research across the UK.

We aim to help beat breast cancer and save lives by supporting ground-breaking research.

Through our fundraising we support research organisations to develop and run breast cancer research programmes. These programmes enable huge steps to be taken in improving the prevention and treatment of breast cancer – the most common type of cancer in the UK.

http://breastcancerresearchaid.org.uk/ 

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‘Bald Ballerina’ Keeps Dancing Through a Double Mastectomy and Treatment for Terminal Breast Cancer

‘Bald Ballerina’ Keeps Dancing Through a Double Mastectomy and Treatment for Terminal Breast Cancer | Breast Cancer News | Scoop.it
“ Maggie Kudirka was just 22 and a ballerina with the Joffrey company when she discovered a lump that turned out to be terminal breast cancer”
Via Librarian@HOPE
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Irina Bcra's curator insight, December 27, 2016 3:38 AM

We are an independent charity that supports innovative breast cancer research across the UK.

We aim to help beat breast cancer and save lives by supporting ground-breaking research.

Through our fundraising we support research organisations to develop and run breast cancer research programmes. These programmes enable huge steps to be taken in improving the prevention and treatment of breast cancer – the most common type of cancer in the UK.

http://breastcancerresearchaid.org.uk/ 

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Breast Cancer Drugs Price Analysis and Strategies Report 2012-2021 - Research and Markets

Breast Cancer Drugs Price Analysis and Strategies Report 2012-2021 - Research and Markets | Breast Cancer News | Scoop.it

Research and Markets has announced the addition of the "Breast Cancer Drugs Price Analysis and Strategies - 2016" report to their offering.

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Irina Bcra's curator insight, December 27, 2016 3:39 AM

We are an independent charity that supports innovative breast cancer research across the UK.

We aim to help beat breast cancer and save lives by supporting ground-breaking research.

Through our fundraising we support research organisations to develop and run breast cancer research programmes. These programmes enable huge steps to be taken in improving the prevention and treatment of breast cancer – the most common type of cancer in the UK.

http://breastcancerresearchaid.org.uk/ 

Irina Bcra's curator insight, January 17, 1:35 AM
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Breast Cancer's Complexity Pushes Researchers to Look Beyond the Genome

Breast Cancer's Complexity Pushes Researchers to Look Beyond the Genome | Breast Cancer News | Scoop.it
Although breast cancer research has helped chart the course for molecularly targeted therapies in oncology, next-generation sequencing technologies have revealed a disease so highly complex and heterogeneous that translating these findings into...
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Male survivors remind us that men get breast cancer, too

Male survivors remind us that men get breast cancer, too | Breast Cancer News | Scoop.it
Newsflash – men have breast tissue, which means they can get breast cancer just like women.
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Irina Bcra's curator insight, December 27, 2016 4:08 AM

We are an independent charity that supports innovative breast cancer research across the UK.

We aim to help beat breast cancer and save lives by supporting ground-breaking research.

Through our fundraising we support research organisations to develop and run breast cancer research programmes. These programmes enable huge steps to be taken in improving the prevention and treatment of breast cancer – the most common type of cancer in the UK.

http://breastcancerresearchaid.org.uk/