Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Early Stage Colon Cancer Patients Can Benefit from Genetic Testing

According to an article written by Medical News daily, early-stage colon cancer patients could potentially benefit from gene specific tests that can forecast the prognosis of colon cancer.  With this gene test, doctors are looking toward two biomarkers: MACC1 gene and a defective mismatch repair system. The MACC1 gene is associated with cellular growth and angiogenesis. Unfortunately, in high levels of expression, this gene promotes tumor and metastasis. A defective DNA mismatch repair system (dMMR), will also be more likely to allow mutations in DNA to occur, and cancer to develop. Life expectancy of patients with a low MACC1 expression, but high occurrences of defective dMMR is much higher than other patients with colon cancer. The test, done by Chartie University in Berlin, tests for both biomarkers to determine the source of the cancer. Once the source is determined to be either from high MACC1 expression or high dMMR, further decisions can be made about how to proceed for treatment. For example, a patient with low MACC1 expression would not benefit as much from chemotherapy, and the cancer could be removed by a surgeon. However, those with high levels of MACC1 have a higher risk of the tumor returning or metastasizing and would require riskier and more aggressive treatments.

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