Researchers find better predictor of breast cancer

November 27, 2013, Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis
Researchers find better predictor of breast cancer
Graham A. Colditz, MD, DrPH, is one of the developers of the Rosner-Colditz statistical model, an improved method to predict a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer.

(Medical Xpress)—Epidemiologists have designed a better method to quantify a woman's risk of developing breast cancer, according to researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and their collaborators. The model could help identify women at high risk of breast cancer who may benefit from prevention strategies that reduce the chances of developing the disease.

"Over the past 20 years, we have worked to develop a more complete model for classifying risk of ," said Graham A. Colditz, MD, DrPH, associate director for cancer prevention and control at Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University. "The next step is to incorporate it into clinical practice so we can improve prevention."

The model validation appears online in the journal Breast Cancer Research and Treatment.

The Rosner-Colditz model for breast cancer considers well-established factors known to contribute to , including body mass index, alcohol consumption and age at first menstrual period. But the model also includes information not considered in other prediction methods, such as a woman's age at menopause and the type of menopause, whether natural or surgical (following the removal of ovaries).

According to the study, the Rosner-Colditz model outperforms the most commonly used model by 3 to 5 percent. The researchers verified the accuracy of their model using data from the California Teachers Study, which includes information about the development of breast cancer in more than 130,000 teachers over a 14-year period.

The model was most accurate for women ages 47 to 69 and for predicting the likelihood that a woman would develop breast cancer in the next five years. Similar to other models, the performance of the Rosner-Colditz model dropped off for women age 70 and older and for predicting breast over longer periods of time.

Colditz, who is also the Niess-Gain Professor of Surgery, said the is most useful for helping to stratify risk and identify women who are much more likely than average to receive a breast cancer diagnosis in the next five years.

"One-quarter of all breast cancer cases are diagnosed in the 10 percent of women at highest risk in any five-year age group," Colditz said. "These are the women who will benefit most from interventions that are known to reduce risk."

Interventions that reduce breast cancer risk include lifestyle changes such as weight loss and increased physical activity. Doctors who know they have a high-risk patient also have preventive options that include increased surveillance and treatments that influence the way the body uses or makes estrogen, such as drugs like tamoxifen, raloxifene and aromatase inhibitors.

Colditz said he and his colleagues are working to integrate this type of risk modeling into clinical care at the Joanne Knight Breast Health Center so that when a woman comes in for her yearly mammogram, she also is given an estimate of her risk of developing breast cancer over the next five years. The Knight Breast Health Center is part of the Siteman Cancer Center.

Explore further: Measuring hormones could help improve breast cancer risk prediction

More information: Rosner BA, Colditz GA, Hankinson SE, Sullivan-Halley J, Lacey Jr. JV, Bernstein L. Validation of Rosner-Colditz breast cancer incidence model using an independent data set, the California Teachers Study. Breast Cancer Research and Treatment. November 2013.

Related Stories

Measuring hormones could help improve breast cancer risk prediction

October 30, 2013
Including the levels of several hormones in currently used breast cancer risk prediction models improves prediction, and this could help better identify women who would benefit from chemoprevention, according to results presented ...

Girls who eat peanut butter may improve breast health later in life​​​​​

September 26, 2013
(Medical Xpress)—Here's some news worth spreading: Girls who eat more peanut butter could improve their breast health later in life.

School-age drinking increases breast cancer risk

August 28, 2013
Here's a sobering fact for millions of young women heading back to school: The more alcohol they drink before motherhood, the greater their risk of future breast cancer.

Lifestyle factors could put college-age women at higher risk of breast cancer

October 28, 2013
Breast cancer prevention needs to become a shared conversation among women of all ages as it can strike at any age, and is generally more aggressive when diagnosed in women under the age of 50. With hopes to spark that discussion, ...

Obesity found to be major risk factor in developing basal-like breast cancer

November 18, 2013
Women who are obese face an increased risk of developing an aggressive sub-type of breast cancer known as 'basal-like', according to research conducted at the University of North Carolina.

USPSTF: Offer breast CA risk-reducing Rx to high-risk patients

September 24, 2013
(HealthDay)—The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends that women at increased risk of breast cancer be prescribed tamoxifen or raloxifene for risk reduction, according to a final Recommendation Statement ...

Recommended for you

Study: Cells of three advanced cancers die with drug-like compounds that reverse chemo failure

January 23, 2018
Researchers at Southern Methodist University have discovered three drug-like compounds that successfully reverse chemotherapy failure in three of the most commonly aggressive cancers—ovarian, prostate and breast.

'Hijacker' drives cancer in some patients with high-risk neuroblastoma

January 23, 2018
Researchers have identified mechanisms that drive about 10 percent of high-risk neuroblastoma cases and have used a new approach to show how the cancer genome "hijacks" DNA that regulates other genes. The resulting insights ...

Scientists block the siren call of two aggressive cancers

January 23, 2018
Aggressive cancers like glioblastoma and metastatic breast cancer have in common a siren call that beckons the bone marrow to send along whatever the tumors need to survive and thrive.

Enzyme inhibitor combined with chemotherapy delays glioblastoma growth

January 23, 2018
In animal experiments, a human-derived glioblastoma significantly regressed when treated with the combination of an experimental enzyme inhibitor and the standard glioblastoma chemotherapy drug, temozolomide.

Researchers identify a protein that keeps metastatic breast cancer cells dormant

January 23, 2018
A study headed by ICREA researcher Roger Gomis at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona) has identified the genes involved in the latent asymptomatic state of breast cancer metastases. The work sheds light ...

Boosting cancer therapy with cross-dressed immune cells

January 22, 2018
Researchers at EPFL have created artificial molecules that can help the immune system to recognize and attack cancer tumors. The study is published in Nature Methods.


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.