Research into genetic mutations suggests the possibility of tests that would detect cancer earlier
A research carried out as a part of the Pan-Cancer Analysis of Whole Genomes project, has revealed that the earliest signs of cancer may begin to appear years before a confirmatory diagnosis is established.
The study investigated the samples taken from over 38 types of cancer and 2500 types of tumour cells to create whole genomes and map mutations.
The carbon-dating method was used for reconstruction of the pattern in which mutations occur within the cells.
The scientists identified the small pool of nine genes which were involved in almost half of early cancer’s mutations.
The study has extended the focus of cancer-related research from the protein-coding areas to the less-studied parts of the genome which could help pinpoint cancerous mutations in up to 95% of the patients.
Quote: “Prior to that (this research), we would be in the dark about roughly one-third of patients that came into the clinic.” Lincoln Stein- Member of the Pan-Cancer project steering committee
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