Genetic discovery 'could make detecting vascular cancer easier'

1 September 2011

An alteration in the genetics of people at most risk of developing a rare form of cancer has been discovered.

In findings that could help medical professionals improve rates of cancer diagnosis, researchers from the Cleveland Clinic in the US have claimed to have uncovered a rare genetic trait behind a devastating form of blood cancer known as epithelioid hemangioendothelioma (EHE).

The genetic defect was discovered in 89 per cent of EHE tumour tissues examined, with the findings representing "the beginning of a new era for patients with EHE," according to lead researcher Dr Brian Rubin, who published the findings in Science Translational Medicine.

He added: "We firmly believe that the characterisation of this genetic translocation will lead to a cure for EHE patients."

Meanwhile, a new device for detecting and monitoring the growth of tumours in sensitive areas or vulnerable patients has been developed by scientists at the Technical University of Munich, BBC News reports.

Through further research and funding, scientists hope to create a device to help deliver more specialised and concentrated cancer treatment.

Posted by Jeanette Royston

1 Tanas, Munir R., et. al., "Identification of a Disease-Defining Gene Fusion in Epithelioid Hemangioendothelioma". Science Translational Medicine. Wednesday August 31st 2011.

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