Breast Cancer: A Very Complicated Disease

Breast Cancer: A Very Complicated Disease

May 18, 2012: The researchers on Wednesday claimed that the breast cancer is a very complicated disease citing the findings of a new study of the protein-coding genes in 100 breast cancer tumours, which reveals vast differences amongst the cancers.

In an online edition of journal Nature, the researchers wrote –“A sobering perspective on the complexity and diversity of the disease is emerging.” It is to be noted that a series of studies of the genetic changes in breast cancer will soon be published by the journal Nature.

The new study was led by Michael Stratton at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in Hinxton, England. Scientists working on the study found 73 different combinations of mutations, which cause disease, in the tumours. Each combination of the disease causing mutations involves up to six different genes from a 40 driver genes’ set. Out of 40, seven individual driver genes were mutated in over 10% cases, while the rest 33 also contributed to the development of the cancers even after being less common. The researchers also reported that a single mutation was more than enough to cause disease in 28 cases.

Breast Cancer Cell

During their study, researchers identified nine new cancers-causing genes and also found mutations in genes that they were familiar with for causing breast as well as other cancers. These findings have emerged as an alarming fact for the cancer experts around the globe. Thus, the development of targeted therapies tailored as per the patient’s tumour type will be required in the near future looking at so many different guises in which a single disease – ?breast cancer’ appears.

An assistant professor of preventive medicine at the Keck School of Medicine at USC, Prof Christina Curtis said that the situation is “more complex than anyone would like to see.” It is to be noted that Prof Curtis is also the first author of another paper in Nature, which was released in April pointing out several new breast cancer subcategories in detail. “But it seems we’re getting closer,” Prof Curtis added.  “With each study we’re getting a new vantage point.”

She further went on to say that finding out new driver genes and even new combinations of driver genes could eventually help the researchers develop new treatment options, after they actually analyse and find out exactly – how the different combinations of disease-causing mutations change cellular function to cause cancer.

She has a dedicated team at USC, which is working on techniques for examining mutations in single cells that will enable the scientists to study genetic variation within tumours as well as between them. “That will take us to the next level where, unfortunately, the picture will become more complicated than it already is,” she added, giving a worrisome expression.

One Response to Breast Cancer: A Very Complicated Disease

  1. health tips says:

    We should be careful about this and advice other people to increase awareness.
    health tips recently posted..10 Signs You May Have OCDMy Profile

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