Research Perspectives:

Crossroads: the role of biomarkers in the management of lumps in the breast

Georg F. Weber

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Oncotarget. 2023; 14:358-362. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.28402

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Georg F. Weber1

1 University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center, Cincinnati, OH 45267, USA

Correspondence to:

Georg F. Weber, email: [email protected]

Keywords: breast cancer premalignant lesion; biomarker; biopsy; mammography

Received: February 28, 2023     Accepted: March 28, 2023     Published: April 24, 2023

Copyright: © 2023 Weber. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Premalignant lesions in the breast pose a difficult decision-making problem, whether to treat proactively and accept the side effects or to engage in watchful waiting and possibly encounter a later diagnosis of invasive cancer. A biomarker or set of biomarkers to inform on the individual progression risk would be beneficial to the patient and cost-effective for the healthcare system. The gene products of tumor progression may be expressed in early non-cancerous (“premalignant”) lesions, where they are associated with a high probability for full transformation in breast cancers. One such molecule is the OPN splice variant-c. OPN-c is also present in a fraction of the premalignant lesions, where it reflects an elevated risk for progression to cancer within 5 years, regardless of the lesion’s subtype. This marker has the properties needed to facilitate decisions to treat at the premalignant stage.

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