Identification of a Novel Luminal Molecular Subtype of Breast Cancer
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The molecular classification of human breast tumors has afforded insights into subtype specific biological processes, patient prognosis and response to therapies. However, using current methods roughly one quarter of breast tumors cannot be classified into one or another molecular subtype. To explore the possibility that the unclassifiable samples might comprise one or more novel subtypes we employed a collection of publically available breast tumor datasets with accompanying clinical information to assemble 1,593 transcript profiles: 25% of these samples could not be assigned to one of the current molecular subtypes of breast cancer. All of the unclassifiable samples could be grouped into a new molecular subtype, which we termed "luminal-like". We also identified the luminal-like subtype in an independent collection of tumor samples (NKI295). We found that patients harboring tumors of the luminal-like subtype have a better prognosis than those with basal-like breast cancer, a similar prognosis to those with ERBB2+, luminal B or claudin-low tumors, but a worse prognosis than patients with luminal A or normal-like breast tumors. Our findings suggest the occurrence of another molecular subtype of breast cancer that accounts for the vast majority of previously unclassifiable breast tumors.
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