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International Journal of Breast Cancer
Volume 2017, Article ID 4279724, 7 pages
Review Article

Molecular Signatures of Radiation Response in Breast Cancer: Towards Personalized Decision-Making in Radiation Treatment

1Department of Radiation Oncology, Michigan Medicine, Ann Arbor, MI, USA
2Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA

Correspondence should be addressed to Corey Speers; ude.hcimu.dem@sreepsc

Received 28 July 2017; Accepted 25 October 2017; Published 26 November 2017

Academic Editor: Jennifer De Los Santos

Copyright © 2017 Corey Speers and Lori J. Pierce. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Recent advances in gene expression profiling have allowed for a more sophisticated understanding of the biology of breast cancers. These advances led to the development of molecular signatures that now allow clinicians to more individually tailor recommendations regarding the utility and necessity of systemic therapies for women with breast cancer. Indeed, these molecularly based tests have been incorporated into national and international best practice guidelines and are now part of routine practice. Similar, though slower, progress is being made in the development of molecular signatures predictive of radiation response and necessity for women with breast cancer. This article will discuss the history of radiation response signature development, the current state of these signatures under ongoing clinical development, the barriers to their clinical adoption, and upcoming changes and opportunities that may allow for the personalized radiation treatment recommendations enabled by the development of these signatures.