PRECISION – When is cancer not really cancerous – Translational DCIS research
PREvent ductal Carcinoma In Situ Invasive Overtreatment Now (PRECISION) project
Women with a precancerous stage of breast cancer, DCIS [Ductal carcinoma in situ], are now all treated as if they have cancer. The Netherlands Cancer Institute has received a grant and award from Cancer Research UK and KWF [Dutch Cancer Society] (Grand Challenge) to change this.
Right now, doctors can’t tell whether women with DCIS will go on to develop breast cancer. The PRECISION team with its translational DCIS research wants to prevent women undergoing severe unnecessary treatment they won’t benefit from, as often DCIS does no harm.
The PRECISION team will study tissue samples taken from women with DCIS during surgery. These samples will be looked at in great detail and alongside this, the team will gather clinical information about these women. All this information is used and mathematical modelling is performed to search for clues (biomarkers) in the DNA of women who have had DCIS, that could indicate how likely they are to develop breast cancer later on. Once potential biomarkers are identified, they will be tested in larger clinical trials for women with DCIS.
The goal is to reduce over-treatment of DCIS patients by finding out whether these biomarkers can accurately and reliably distinguish between women with DCIS who will likely develop breast cancer and should be treated, and those who can safely avoid treatment.
The project will run for five years. HCN was a co-writer of the proposal.