Today brings the launch of our series on the AACR annual meeting Previews.  A variety of different topics will be covered over the next two weeks, not just by tumour type and pathway, but also to highlight some novel research that is emerging on various driver mutations that not only can cause resistance to occur, but may also be viable targets for therapeutic intervention.

During the recent Miami Breast Cancer Conference, one Twitter follower who is living with metastatic breast cancer, asked me:

Sadly, the short answer was no.

Many of you will remember, however, that during Dr Debu Tripathy’s detailed of ER+ HER2- positive breast cancer, which I wrote about here, he raised several intriguing points including the possibility that somatic HER2 mutations might be present in some of these patients and thus be a potential therapeutic target. There was no mention of ESR1 though. I spoke to him briefly after his talk and learned that ESR1, while widely known, is really only becoming a hot topic of debate and research now with numerous groups looking into the possibilities.

This led me to research the work of Matt Ellis’s group, as well as what Dana Farber are doing, and also to talk about both HER2 and ESR1 mutations with Dr Vince Miller of Foundation Medicine, whose company is actively doing research in these areas. What he had to say was really compelling and exciting. There is also some new publications as well as interesting data in this area at AACR in San Diego.

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 Do ESR1 mutations drive endocrine resistance during the progression of ER+ breast cancer?

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