Personal cancer treatments to become a reality?

30 March 2012

New research could lead to people receiving more personalised cancer treatment procedures in the years to come.

Dr Mathew Garnett, of the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, led a study which involved monitoring genetic changes in cancer in regards to drug sensitivity.

As a result of the analysis, the researchers were able to discover hundreds of examples regarding mutations in cancer genes, as well as many cases of the impact that anticancer drugs has on treatment of the disease.

For example, cells which are related to Ewing's sarcoma – a form of bone cancer – showed signs of activity when subjected to a drug which is common for the treatment of breast and ovarian cancers.

Commenting on the benefits of the research, Dr Garnett said: "Our key focus is to find how to use cancer therapeutics in the most effective way by correctly targeting patients that are most likely to respond to a specific therapy."

The study follows on from University of Alberta scientists recently suggesting that breast cancer tumours which have low levels of certain genes may be able to fight the usefulness of common forms of chemotherapy treatment.

Posted by Philip Briggs

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