Survival outcomes are associated with genomic instability in luminal breast cancers – CRT member Lydia King

CRT member Lydia King has published a paper in PLOSONE which studies how genomic instability is linked with survival outcomes in patients with breast cancer.

Luminal breast cancer patients currently receive treatment based on whether they are diagnosed with luminal A or luminal B type breast cancer, genomic stability is not used during this diagnosis.

Genomic stability was measured based on the overall level of copy number alteration in the patients DNA. Copy number alteration is the change in size of a persons chromosomes, be that addition of new genetic material or deletion of genetic material.

The data analysis shows that patients with elevated genomic instability, who were originally categorised as luminal A, tend to have a survival outcome which is closer that of patients who are diagnosed with the more aggressive luminal B breast cancer.

Lydia’s work, which was carried out during the MSc in Biomedical Genomics at NUIG, showcases how genomics can be used at the individual level to determine the personalised treatment of cancer patients. Current clinical methods may now be altered to include genomic stability as a factor in determining the diagnosis of patients with luminal breast cancer.

The work is a testament to the cross disciplinary nature of NUI Galway as co-authors Dr. Aaron Golden and Dr Emma Holian are members of the Mathematics, Statistics and Applied Mathematics department while fellow co-author Dr. Andrew Flaus is a member of the Centre for Chromosome Biology.

Read the paper in full at the following link:

To keep up to date on Lydia’s research and journey through the CRT in Genomics Data Science PhD, visit their twitter here : Lydia_King17

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