Ten Major Research Gaps in Breast Cancer


Breast cancer remains a significant scientific, clinical and societal challenge. Recent study reviewed and critically assessed enduring issues and new challenges emerging from recent research and has found the following ten major gaps were identified:

 (1) understanding the functions and contextual interactions of genetic and epigenetic changes in normal breast development and during malignant transformation;

(2) how to implement sustainable lifestyle changes (diet, exercise and weight) and chemopreventive strategies;

(3) the need for tailored screening approaches including clinically actionable tests;

(4) enhancing knowledge of molecular drivers behind breast cancer subtypes, progression and metastasis;

(5) understanding the molecular mechanisms of tumour heterogeneity, dormancy, de novo or acquired resistance and how to target key nodes in these dynamic processes;

(6) developing validated markers for chemosensitivity and radiosensitivity;

(7) understanding the optimal duration, sequencing and rational combinations of treatment for improved personalized therapy;

(8) validating multimodality imaging biomarkers for minimally invasive diagnosis and monitoring of responses in primary and metastatic disease;

(9) developing interventions and support to improve the survivorship experience;

(10) a continuing need for clinical material for translational research derived from normal breast, blood, primary, relapsed, metastatic and drug-resistant cancers with expert bioinformatics support to maximise its utility…

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