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

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Obesity Poses Complex Problem

Professor warns of obesity’s worldwide health impact 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.
Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam Wari
X
Katherine Gypson
May 25, 2015 1:32 AM
For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.

VOA Blogs