Researchers Identify Molecular Marker to Indicate Risk for Developing Breast Cancer


Published Date : Apr 06, 2016

Researchers at the Harvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI), along with collaborators from the Brigham and Women’s Hospital have identified a molecular marker in healthy breast tissue that can indicate a women’s risk for developing breast cancer. Breast cancer has emerged as the leading cause of death in women across the globe. The researchers have found that the chances of developing cancer are higher among women who have a higher percentage of Ki67, a molecular marker that identifies the proliferation of cells across the lining of the mammary ducts and milk-producing lobules. These cells, better known as the mammary epithelium are the origin of the majority of breast tissues. 

Lack of Awareness about Breast Cancer is a Major Hindrance in Treating Patients

The growing prevalence of breast cancer and aging demographics have boosted the demand for breast imaging technologies. A number of initiatives taken by governments and private organizations to spread awareness about breast cancer have also augmented the growth of the global breast imaging technologies market. However, stringent regulatory approval procedures and the lack of reimbursement coverage will play spoilsport in the growth of the market in the coming years. Lack of awareness about breast cancer, especially across the developing economies has emerged as the major hindrance in treating patients. The overall market has a huge opportunity to grow with the development of improved technologies with reduced radiation exposure.

Among the various breast imaging technologies, mammography has been the most in demand as it utilizes low-intensity X-rays to develop two-dimensional images of breast tissues.  In the U.S. alone, around 44 mn women undergo mammography every year. In the coming years, tomosynthesis and nuclear imaging are expected to witness significant demand.