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Dr. McTiernan on Biomarkers in Breast Cancer

Anne McTiernan, MD, PhD
Published Online: Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Anne McTiernan, MD, PhD, research professor of epidemiology, University of Washington, member, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, discusses the biomarkers that are associated with poor prognosis in patients with breast cancer.

McTiernan says there are several patient-related biomarkers that are associated with poor survival in patients with breast cancer, such as insulin resistance, high insulin levels and high levels of estrogen or testosterone. However, these are things that can be affected by weight loss in patients who are overweight or obese.

Patients who have diabetes or pre-diabetes also have a high risk of poor survival, McTiernan says. Physicians should focus on these patients as they can respond to weight-loss and exercise programs.

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