New research, presented today at the European Breast Cancer Conference in Amsterdam, has found that male breast cancer has important biological differences that distinguish it from female breast cancer, something that the study leaders hope will enable better treatment planning for male patients.
Baroness Delyth Morgan, Chief Executive at Breast Cancer Now, said:
“This study delivers much-needed insight into the biological differences between male and female breast cancer and could change how decisions about the necessity of chemotherapy for certain male patients are made.
“Unfortunately the findings highlight the possible futility of using a current treatment planning tool for men, showing that grade – a marker of how different the cancer cells are from normal cells – was not linked to overall outcomes in male breast cancer in the same way that it is for women.
“If these results are confirmed, doctors may no longer be able to use grading to guide chemotherapy treatment decisions in certain cases of male breast cancer, and will now need to rely on other tests alone.
“Ultimately, these findings are a stark reminder of the pressing need for greater research to enable us to better understand and treat male breast cancer.”