News / Health

Latest Cancer Research Leads to Better Screening, New Drugs

DNA double helix is seen in an undated artist's illustration released by the National Human Genome Research InstituteDNA double helix is seen in an undated artist's illustration released by the National Human Genome Research Institute
x
DNA double helix is seen in an undated artist's illustration released by the National Human Genome Research Institute
DNA double helix is seen in an undated artist's illustration released by the National Human Genome Research Institute
Reuters
New research has nearly doubled the number of genetic variations implicated in breast, prostate and ovarian cancer, offering fresh avenues for screening at-risk patients and, potentially, developing better drugs.
       
The bumper haul of 74 gene changes that can increase risks for the three hormone-related cancers, announced by scientists on Wednesday, is the result of the largest ever study of its kind.
       
It follows an international project to analyse the DNA of more than 200,000 people - half of them with cancer and half from the general population - to find alterations that are more common in individuals with the disease.
       
Although each gene variation increases cancer risk by only a small amount, scientists calculate that the one percent of men carrying lots of the alterations could have a 50 percent increased risk of developing prostate cancer.
       
Women with multiple variants could see their risk of breast cancer increase by 30 percent.
       
Doug Easton of the University of Cambridge, one of the cancer researchers who led the work, said the batch of new genetic discoveries meant medical experts would be able to develop new cancer screening programs.
       
This will take time, since more research is needed to develop diagnostic tools.
       
"I would think that within five to 10 years this might be being used commonly, if not in a very widespread population base,'' said Paul Pharoah, also of the University of Cambridge.
       
Initially, the additional screening is likely to be targeted at patients with established cancer risk factors, such as carriers of BRCA gene faults. Women with BRCA faults are known to be at greater risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer.

New Drugs

Ros Eeles of Britain's Institute of Cancer Research, an expert in prostate cancer, said the new findings were the biggest leap forward yet in understanding the genetic basis of the disease.
       
"They allow us, for the first time, to identify men who have a very high risk of developing prostate cancer during their lifetime through inheritance of multiple risk genetic variants,'' she said.
       
In the case of prostate cancer, scientists found 23 new genetic variations - known as single nucleotide polymorphisms, or SNPs - taking the total to 78. Significantly, 16 were linked with the more aggressive forms of the disease.
       
For breast cancer the researchers found 49 new SNPs, more than doubling the number previously identified, and in ovarian cancer the tally was 11.
       
A few of the variations were common to more than one cancer type, suggesting there may be common mechanisms of action that could be targeted by new drugs.
       
Developing medicines using the insight gained by the latest research will take many years, even assuming that drugmakers can produce compounds that work effectively. Encouragingly, though, companies such as Roche, the market leader in cancer, are getting better at making drugs that apply biochemical brakes'' to tumor cells.
       
The scientists stressed that genes, while important, were just one side of a complex mix of factors leading to cancer.
       
"Lifestyle and environmental risks act in concert with the genetics. It is not one or the other - it is always both together,'' Pharoah told reporters.
       
The new research was published in a series of papers in Nature Genetics, Nature Communications, PLOS Genetics, and the American Journal of Human Genetics and Human Molecular Genetics.

You May Like

Turbulent Transition Imperils Tunisia’s Arab Spring Gains

Critics say new anti-terrorism laws worsen Tunisia's situation while others put faith in country’s vibrant civil organizations, women’s movement More

Burundi’s Political Crisis May Become Humanitarian One

United Nations aid agencies issue warning as deadly violence sends tens of thousands fleeing More

Yemenis Adjust to Life Under Houthi Rule

Locals want warring parties to strike deal to stop bloodletting before deciding how country is governed More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: hesham mostafa from: egypt
March 29, 2013 9:23 AM
It is an authentic breakthrough in cancer exploration. A clinical trial pointed out that they managed to cut down 3-year fatality rate in people with metastatic cancer malignancy by more than 5 times. Nothing is identical to this effect in the whole oncological research. Once more 5 times fewer people past away in 3 years after they taught one additional therapy.

The treatment was based on the process utilized by almost 200 Russian medical experts, and the objective of the process is to enhance oxygen content in cells by means of the legendary Buteyko respiratory method. These awesome results are reported and all details of their treatment solution are stated in the Kindle book from Amazon “Doctors Who Cure Cance"r Dr. Artour Rakhimov. Once you see a person with cancer, I ask you to share!
http://www.amazon.com/Doctors-Cure-Cancer-Books-ebook/dp/B007IZZ4AQ/

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Texas Town Residents Told to 'Just Leave' Ahead of Flood Threati
X
Greg Flakus
May 29, 2015 11:24 PM
Water from heavy rain in eastern and central Texas is now swelling rivers that flow into the Gulf of Mexico, threatening towns along their banks. VOA’s Greg Flakus visited the town of Wharton, southwest of Houston, where the Colorado River is close to cresting.
Video

Video Texas Town Residents Told to 'Just Leave' Ahead of Flood Threat

Water from heavy rain in eastern and central Texas is now swelling rivers that flow into the Gulf of Mexico, threatening towns along their banks. VOA’s Greg Flakus visited the town of Wharton, southwest of Houston, where the Colorado River is close to cresting.
Video

Video New York's One World Trade Center Observatory Opens to Public

From New Jersey to Long Island, from Northern suburbs to the Atlantic Ocean, with all of New York City in-between.  That view became available to the public Friday as the One World Trade Center Observatory opened in New York -- atop the replacement for the buildings destroyed in the September 11, 2001, attacks.  VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports.
Video

Video Seoul Sponsors Korean Unification Fair

With inter-Korean relations deteriorating over the North’s nuclear program, past military provocations and human rights abuses, many Koreans still hold out hope for eventual peaceful re-unification. VOA’s Brian Padden visited a “unification fair” held this week in Seoul, where border communities promoted the benefits of increased cooperation.
Video

Video Purple Door Coffeeshop: Changing Lives One Cup at a Time

For a quarter of his life, Kevin Persons lived on the street. Today, he is working behind the counter of an espresso bar, serving coffee and working to transition off the streets and into a home. Paul Vargas reports for VOA.
Video

Video Modular Robot Getting Closer to Reality

A robot being developed at Carnegie Mellon University has evolved into a multi-legged modular mechanical snake, able to move over rugged surfaces and explore the surroundings. Scientists say such machines could someday help in search and rescue operations. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Shanghai Hosts Big Consumer Electronics Show

Electronic gadgets are a huge success in China, judging by the first Asian Consumer Electronics Show, held this week in Shanghai. Over the course of two days, more than 20,000 visitors watched, tested and played with useful and some less-useful electronic devices exhibited by about 200 manufacturers. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Forced to Return Home, Afghan Refugees Face Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.

VOA Blogs