The work entitled “SPATIOTEMPORAL PROGRESSION OF METASTATIC BREAST CANCER: A MARKOV CHAIN MODEL HIGHLIGHTING THE ROLE OF EARLY METASTATIC SITES” by Paul K. Newton, Jeremy Mason and colleagues is the featured article in the last edition of npj Breast Cancer.
In this study, the authors found that spatiotemporal patterns of metastatic spread in breast cancer are neither random nor unpredictable and developed a Markov based model of breast cancer progression that has predictive capability. They used data from 446 patients, collected over several decades, to create a probability model that can predict patient survival according to the first site of metastasis. They propose that sites can be classified as ‘spreaders’ or ‘sponges’ on the basis of whether the cancer is likely to spread further. The model could help physicians to provide better prognoses and facilitate research into the biology of metastasis. The authors suggest that future models might also incorporate how therapy type and tumor size influence metastasis and survival.
npj Breast Cancer is a multidisciplinary research journal, published in partnership between the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF) and Nature Publishing Group (NPG).
Read the full article at http://www.nature.com/articles/npjbcancer201518.