Personalised cancer treatment a step closer
A genetic test could one day spot breast cancer patients most at risk of relapsing after treatment with a commonly used powerful chemotherapy.
US researchers tested tumours for activity from two genes which appeared to cut the effectiveness of a class of cancer drugs. The fact that a drug may be highly effective in some patients, but not others, cannot be easily explained. Scientists now believe that the molecular properties of patients and their tumours may be the key to understanding this – and choosing the right type of treatment.
The team from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, in Boston, Massachusetts, scanned the genetic code of tumours taken from women who had undergone treatment, looking for differences which could account for differences in outcome, focusing on a single class of drugs called anthracyclines. They found a small region on a single chromosome, and within it two genes which seemed to be unusually active in drug-resistant tumours.
When checks were made on samples from 85 other women, those with high levels of activity from these two genes were those who did worst when treated with anthracyclines. They believe that by checking tumours in advance, treatment regimes could be changed to those involving alternative drug types.
Meg McArthur, from Breakthrough Breast Cancer, said: “This research is a step towards discovering why some patients benefit more than others from a common form of chemotherapy. “Research like this is important for identifying the appropriate treatment for individual patients.”
Oliver Childs, from Cancer Research UK, said: “Finding ways to predict how patients will respond to chemotherapy is important to help them benefit as much as possible from their cancer treatment. “It is too early to say whether this research will lead to a predictive test, but work like this inches us a little closer towards an age of personalised cancer treatment.”
Source: BBC News
I love to hear that research is moving in this direction. Thanks for posting.
I love the mix in your blog – latest research blending seemlessly with poetry, healthy recipes, inspiration – you are doing a great job!
as do i. i know that i was tested to see if i was processing the tamoxifen i am taking and it turns out that i am a ‘good absorber’ of tamoxifen. thanks for posting this.
Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment. Wishing you well on your journey beyond breast cancer.
Always exciting to see things keep moving forward for better and better care! Thanks for posting!
Great to see that things are moving forward and towards the goal of personalised treatment – too late for me but wonderful to see it is happening anyway!