Lewis, Robert A., Rogers, Keith D., Hall, Christopher J., Towns-Andrews, Elizabeth, Slawson, Susan, Evans, Andrew, Pinder, Sarah E., Ellis, Ian O., Boggis, Caroline R. M., Hufton, Alan P. and Dance, David R. (1999) Preliminary observations of breast tumor collagen using synchrotron radiation. Proceedings of the Society of Photo-Optical Instrument Engineers (SPIE), 3770. pp. 32-37. ISSN 0277-786X

The most frequently occurring cancer in women is that of the breast where it accounts for almost 20% of all cancer deaths. The U.K. has the world's highest mortality rate from breast cancer with an increasing incidence of 25000 per annum. Characterizing the complex physiological and tissue changes that form the natural history of breast cancer is clearly important for understanding associated biological mechanisms and for diagnosis. We report the initial findings of a diffraction study of breast tissue collagen that we believe may be due to tumor genesis. Small angle, synchrotron X-ray scattering has enabled us to examine `core cut' biopsy specimens and characterize their collagen architecture. We present data that demonstrates possible structural differences between tumor and normal tissue. We discuss the implications of these findings in the context of using molecular structure characteristics as new and novel markers of disease progression.

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