Early-stage breast cancer detection in breast milk

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Published: 26 Sep 2023
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Dr Cristina Saura - Vall d’Hebron University Hospital, Barcelona, Spain

Dr Cristina Saura speaks to ecancer about research which has shown for the first time that breast milk from breast cancer patients could become a new tool for early diagnosis.

She explains that the study began 5 years ago when a breast cancer patient posed the question, "Could I transmit the breast cancer to my baby through the breast milk?". After analysing a sample, and comparing it with a sample taken 18 months before the diagnosis, the same mutations identified within the tumour were also discovered.

Dr Saura details that an NGS-based genomic panel was built with Dr Ana Vivancos and was used to detect the most frequent mutations present in women with breast cancer diagnosed before the age of 45.

She reports the findings of the study which found that mutations were detected in the samples of breast milk of 13 of the 15 patients analysed.