DNA damage response (DDR) genes are big players in cancer progression. We’re talking players with recurring roles in our biology texts such as ATR, Ku, and PARP. A novel report demonstrates that cyclin-dependent kinase 12 (CDK12) found in breast cancers is significantly associated with several DDR proteins crucial for effective DNA repair. The presence of CDK12--as easily determined via immunohistochemistry (IHC)--was most common among HER2(+) and least common among triple-negative cancers. In short, absence of CDK12 could be the next Achilles heel we strike in triple-negative breast cancers. Roll tide.


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