Dr. Debu Tripathy from Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center Discusses Breast Carcinoma Heterogeneity
Debu Tripathy, MD, professor of medicine and co-leader of the Women’s Cancer Program at the University of Southern California Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, discusses breast tumor heterogeneity.
Heterogeneity is becoming a more widely accepted phenomenon. It used to be believed that all tumors were the same, but as tumors grow clonal diversity becomes evident and different portions of the tumor receive different genetic changes. Selective pressure, such as a drug, may also create new variants of a tumor as a portion is killed off by the introduction of the drug. Not all of the portions of a tumor act uniformly, some portions may be positive and others negative.
Tumor heterogeneity is an evolving area and is receiving attention in the research setting as a possible method to predict resistance and recurrence. An established practice has not been put into place yet and it still remains unclear how to use this information.