Laura van 't Veer, PhD
, has changed the way physicians look at breast cancer. Tumors differ from each other genetically. And thanks to van 't Veer's pioneering vision, oncologists now use a new generation of genetic tests to help make treatment decisions.
Fewer women with low-risk breast cancer are being treated unnecessarily with drugs that may have side effects. More women with high-risk disease are receiving appropriate, aggressive therapy.
Van 't Veer led the bench-to-bedside development of the MammaPrint, a lab test on a chip. It detects patterns of gene activity in samples prepared from breast tumors. The various patterns of gene activity detected by the MammaPrint indicate a better or worse likelihood of breast cancer's returning despite surgery.
Research shows that for early-stage breast cancer, the MammaPrint is a more accurate gauge of breast cancer prognosis than previously established measures.
Read more at Jeffrey Norris, UCSF Science Cafe