A new study published in Nature says breast cancer should be split into 10 separate subtypes, reports BBC News' James Gallagher. The international groups of researchers analyzed the genomes and transcriptomes of 2,000 breast tumors, and developed a method for molecular stratification of the disease, based on their findings. "Researchers compared breast cancer to a map of the world. They said tests currently used in hospitals were quite broad, splitting breast cancer up into the equivalent of continents," Gallagher writes. "The latest findings give the breast cancer map far more detail, allowing you to find individual 'countries.'" Not only are there genetic differences in the subtypes, but also differences in survival times for patients, he adds.
Though it may take years for this information to be used in the clinic, the researchers tell the BBC that they are hopeful that their findings will lead to a new way to diagnose and treat breast cancer.