A study looking at gene differences in people with breast cancer

Cancer type:

Breast cancer





This study looked at how slight differences in your genes can affect breast cancer treatment.

More about this trial

We know that cancers respond to drugs in different ways. This may be due to differences in certain proteins called genes.
In this study researchers looked at genes, including one called HER2. They wanted to see if different features in these genes affected how well treatment worked for different people. They also looked at blood and tissue samples. 
In future, doctors may be able to use this information to see which type of treatment would work best for different people. The aims of this study were to see how:
  • common these gene differences were 
  • these differences affected how well the drug trastuzumab works

Summary of results

The study team found a connection between a variation in the HER2 gene and the number of copies of the HER2 gene in breast cancer tissue. 
Of the 367 people who took part, researchers were able to look at the tissue samples of 241 people.
They looked at 2 variations of the HER2 gene:
  • Ile655Val
  • Alall70Pro
The Ile655Val variation didn’t have any influence on how many of copies of the HER2 gene were in the cancer tissue.
More tissue samples that had multiple copies of the HER2 gene had the Alall7Pro variation. 
The team conclude that there is an interesting link between the Alall70Pro and the number of copies of the HER2 gene. However it is not clear what the role is of either Alall70Pro or the Ile655Val in increasing the number of copies of the HER2 gene. More research is needed to find this out and to understand the clinical significance. 
We have based this summary on information from the research team. The information they sent us has been reviewed by independent specialists (peer reviewed Open a glossary item) and published in a medical journal. The figures we quote above were provided by the trial team who did the research. We have not analysed the data ourselves.

Recruitment start:

Recruitment end:

How to join a clinical trial

Please note: In order to join a trial you will need to discuss it with your doctor, unless otherwise specified.

Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Chief Investigator

Dr Mark Verrill

Supported by

Cancer Research UK
Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC)
Northern Institute for Cancer Research

If you have questions about the trial please contact our cancer information nurses

Freephone 0808 800 4040

Last review date

CRUK internal database number:


Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Caroline took part in a clinical trial for breast cancer

“I had treatment last year and I want to give something back.”

Last reviewed:

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