Tissue analysis 'could show rate of cancer development'

20 December 2011

Spatial tissue structure, such as that found in the colon, could help slow down the development of cancer, it has been suggested.

In a new study by scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization in Gottingen, the University of Pennsylvania and the University of California San Francisco, they found that the model looking for genetic mutations in the tissues could help in the assessment of biopsies.

This could also improve the predictions of the progression of certain types of cancer, the researchers revealed.

Scientists looked at how the genetic mutations spread in spatial tissue, the speed of the mutation accumulation process and also the impact of this process on the progression of pre-cancerous conditions.

Leader of the study Erik Martens said: "It is important to integrate the structural aspect in order to better predict how pre-cancerous conditions progress."

He added that this could help clarify how many mutations happen to trigger a certain type of cancer.

According to Cancer Research UK, breast cancer is the most common cancer in British women.

Posted by Philip Briggs

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