Can cancer “finger prints” help to destroy them?

Potentially yes !

We still don’t know a lot about cancers, how they start, when they start and what keeps them going.

We already know that some of the changes seen more often in cancerous tissues than in normal tissues can help to devise anti-cancer treatments. Examples include Herceptin for Breast cancer, Olaparib for Ovarian cancer.

But there is a lot a do if we were to cure or control cancers.

A recently published study by the Cambridge team is quite exciting. It probably would lead to more similar studies and ultimately better and more effective cancer treatments.

The study analysed all the genetic material from cancers (“whole genome”) and found “genetic finger prints” in various cancers . Targeting these changes could help to diagnose and treat cancers more effectively.

A word of caution: it usually makes many years for the new discoveries to lead to better treatments. Clinical trials often take years to start, recruit and analyse results.

References

BBC. Cancer: Huge DNA analysis uncovers new clues. By Smitha Mundasad
Health reporter

Daily Telegraph. Mindblowing’ gene discovery brings tailor-made cancer treatment a step closer. Cambridge research reveals 58 new mutational signatures, raising hopes of a cancer care revolution based around personalised treatment By Laura Donnelly, HEALTH EDITOR 21 April 2022 • 7:00pm

Science Magazine AAAS. Andrea Degasperi et al. ‘Substitution mutational signatures in whole-genome–sequenced cancers in the UK population.’ SCIENCE • 22 Apr 2022 • Vol 376, Issue 6591 • DOI: 10.1126/science.abl9283

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