Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is cancer in the tissue of the breast. It is the second most deadly form of cancer in American women, but it can occur in men as well and accounts for over 15 percent of all cancer-related deaths in the US. There are several subtypes of cancer, which are differentiated by the particular location where they grow in the breast. Survival from breast cancer varies greatly depending on early detection, which subtype a person has, how it is treated, and if the cancer spreads to other parts of the body.

In the video above, Dr. Annette Lee and Dr. Peter Gregersen from the Feinstein Institute have discovered biomarkers that could help in the early detection of breast and ovarian cancer.


Feinstein Institute researchers are studying these important aspects of breast cancer to better understand the disease and develop new diagnostics and treatments for people who suffer from breast cancer. Specifically, they are studying two areas: one is the identification of biomarkers, which are genetic traits that characterize different subtypes of breast cancer. Such biomarkers are useful for early detection and predicting how a person with breast cancer might react to treatment (like chemotherapy). The other area of research focuses on the role of the immune system and how that system no longer protects the body against cancer because it is altered by the cancer, which is trying to help its own growth and spreading.

Feinstein Institute investigators who study breast cancer include Annette T. Lee and Marc Symons.