New method for prognosis of breast cancer recurrence

Summary of the technology

The invention relates to the field of oncology and cancer treatment and prognosis. The invention includes methods for predicting the risk of recurrence of breast tumors using the expression signature of particular miRNAs.

Universidad de Málaga

Details of the Technology Offer

Recurrence in cancer occurs when the disease comes back after treatment. It can be of two types: local or distant (metastasis) and, in turn, the recurrence can be early (iatrogenic effect derived from the surgical removal of the primary tumor) or late (natural evolution of the disease). After tumor resection, the risk of relapse (recurrence) is not constant over time. Predicting early recurrence in breast cancer represents a great challenge in clinical practice since such recurrence is associated with a more aggressive tumor, fewer therapeutic options, and an unpromising prognosis.

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) down-regulate gene expression by inhibiting translation of their target mRNAs and causing gene silencing. However, to date it has not been documented which specific miRNAs might be associated with early recurrence (<2 years after treatment) of a particular tumor. Due to this and the need to identify biomarkers that allow predicting the risk of recurrence in breast cancer after surgery or specific treatment, the research group has developed a specific method and kit to determine said risk of recurrence.

The kit is based on measuring the expression levels of a set of 5 specific miRNAs to determine the low or high risk of developing new breast cancer. The results show that the signature of the set of miRNAs supposes a very strong predictive value when discriminating the tumors of patients that will develop early recurrence from those that are free of disease. Said value is reflected in obtaining an area under the curve (AUC) of 0.993.

The advantages of this new technology are:

  • Reliably determines the risk of recurrence in patients treated for breast cancer.
  • Set patient groups based on risk.
  • It allows the choice of the most appropriate therapy.
  • It establishes the adequate follow-up of the treated patients.

Current development status

Experimental technologies


Patent granted in Spain and USA. Patent granted as European Patent


The invention relates to the field of oncology and cancer treatment and prognosis. Especially used for the prognosis of breast cancer with early recurrence (<2 years after treatment) of a particular tumor.

Desired business relationship

Patent licensing

Technology development

Other: Collaborative projects

Intellectual property status

Related Keywords

  • Biological Sciences
  • Medicine, Human Health
  • Cytology, Cancerology, Oncology
  • Diagnostics, Diagnosis
  • Measurements and Standards
  • Genetic Engineering / Molecular Biology
  • Recombinant DNA
  • In vitro Testing, Trials Market
  • Cellular and Molecular Biology Market
  • Bioinformatics Market
  • Genetic Engineering Market
  • Medical Health related
  • Diagnostic
  • Diagnostic services
  • Other diagnostic
  • Other Medical/Health Related
  • Clinical Medicine
  • Oncology
  • Medical computer sciences
  • Welfare technologies
  • breast cancer
  • rna
  • breast cancer recurrence
  • cancer prognosis

About Universidad de Málaga

The University of Malaga (UMA) is a public institution, which promotes outstanding research and teaching within the European Higher Education Area. UMA is one of the most dynamic and fast growing research and education institutions in Spain.

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