Thursday, May 5, 2016

A Closer View of Breast Cancer

Recently new research has been done on the sequencing of the breast cancer genome. This research is said to have given scientists the clearest picture to date of breast cancer and what factors influence tumor development. Research was done by an international team led by the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in the UK. 560 breast cancer genomes were analyzed in this study, 556 from women and 4 from men, and patients were sourced from countries around the world. While analyzing the genomes researchers were looking for patterns in DNA mutations, these mutations could be due to environmental factors, or simply just the aging process. 13 mutational signatures were found in common in all genomes. These 13 factors influence tumor development which give rise to 93 protein coding cancer genes that act as instructions to turn normal tissue its cancerous tissue. Knowing that these genes exist is a crucial step in cancer treatments. Pharmaceutical companies and biotech companies can use this information to begin to developing drugs tailored to affect these 93 proteins coding genes.
During research scientists also found that women who presented with BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes had highly distinctive genomes. Scientists believe the uniqueness of these genomes can help develop newer methods for patient treatment classification, depending on the patients presented risk.
This new information can open more doors for researchers working to battle against cancer. All of the identified cancer causing factors can be targeted by treatments or drugs to halt the progression of tumor growth. The genome information can also allow for a more personal care to cancer, treatments can be targeted to the mutation one individual possess. Making cancer treatments much more effective in the long run.
This research is a great step for battling an awful condition. Personalized cancer treatment, I think, can be greatly beneficial if specific cancer genes an individual possess can be targeted. Hopefully with new information such as this we will begin to see a drastic drop in fatalities due to breast cancer, and maybe other cancers as well.

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