Genes involved in non-malignant breast phenotypes are widely expressed in multiple cancers and provide novel biomarkers of clinical outcomes and therapeutic response

We selected novel biomarkers based on non-malignant breast epithelial cell phenotypes and identified 325 genes (BA325) showing 32 significant oncology drug associations. A total of 251 genes out of 325 are unique and not found in any of 9 other oncology panels investigated, suggesting that BA325 may yield novel insights regarding tumor biology, clinical outcomes, and novel therapeutic targets, not covered by current tools. Surprisingly, 102 of the BA325 genes were among 3,804 published housekeeping (HK) genes, with 7 of them present in a predictive signature developed for breast cancer chemotherapy response. The results suggest HK genes may play a role in the underlying biology of how cancer cells respond to treatments. Preliminary results indicate BA325 genes may have utility as biomarkers in a surprisingly wide variety of tumor types (including leukemia) in addition to breast cancer, with discriminatory power in at least gastric, ovarian, lung and breast cancers.

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