A new study conducted by a team of researchers at the Duke Institute for Genome Sciences & Policy and the Duke University Comprehensive Cancer Center found that tumor cell activity may differ in women of different age with poorer prognosis in young women.

The researchers found that in comparison to older women, breast cancer gets more aggressive and less responsive to treatment in women under the age of 50. They are hoping that these findings may lead to targeted therapies that will help treat patients more effectively.

In a study that included 200,000 women diagnosed with breast cancer, the tumors in women younger than 45 were found to have certain patterns of cellular activity that confer a poorer prognosis in these women and better prognosis for older women.
The findings suggest that there is a need for age-appropriate targeted therapies.

The researchers will try to inhibit the processes noticed in younger women by using drugs to see if they would have better chances of treatment and cure. Possible therapies aimed at targeting the cellular activity in young women’s tumors are already under way. The goal of these therapies would be to shut down and halt tumor growth.