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“DNA Barcode” To Deliver Personalised Care For Breast Cancer Patients

Launched in 2016, the varsity's Personalised Breast Cancer Programme has mapped the entire genetic code of nearly 300 women diagnosed with breast cancer, the report said

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Cancer
Cancer Ribbon. Pixabay

Undergoing genetic testing for breast cancer creates a “DNA barcode” which can help transform treatment for the deadly cancer and make it more personalised to each patient, scientists say.

According to doctors at the Britain’s Cambridge University, mapping the genetic code could help them choose the right treatment as well as predict whether patients are likely to experience side effects, the BBC reported.

It can also reveal whether their cancer, the second most common cancer in women, is becoming resistant to treatment.

“Breast cancer is not one but 10 or 11 diseases that are distinct molecular entities… By sequencing the tumour we have something like a barcode which gives us the pattern of mutations in that cancer,” Carlos Caldas, Professor at the varsity, was quoted as saying.

The genome sequencing can detect whether patients have inherited mutations in BRCA1, BRCA2 genes which increases their risk of both breast and ovarian cancer. The findings can also have implications for their family.

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Representational image. Pixabay

“We can understand how the body and in particular the immune cells are responding and this enables us to deliver more precision in the medicine,” Caldas said.

“This barcode also enables us to do surveillance and identify early whether a tumour is coming back because of developing resistance to treatment. When those cells start releasing their DNA we can detect them in a blood test known as a liquid biopsy,” he noted.

Also Read: To Treat Brain Cancer Scientists Taking Polio’s Help

Launched in 2016, the varsity’s Personalised Breast Cancer Programme has mapped the entire genetic code of nearly 300 women diagnosed with breast cancer, the report said.

These women have a sample of their tumour and of their blood sent for sequencing, with the full results coming back within 12 weeks.

“We want to reduce the number of toxic drugs that we give to patients, and where possible treat them with targeted therapies with fewer side effects,” Alejandra Bruna, molecular biologist at the varsity, was quoted as saying. (IANS)

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Jury Grants $2 Billion to Couple Claiming ‘Glysophate’ in Roundup Weed Killer Caused Cancer

Vietnam said it would stop importing Roundup and other weed killers with the ingredient

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FILE - Containers of Roundup are displayed on a store shelf in San Francisco, Feb. 24, 2019. VOA

For the third time in less than a year, a jury has ruled the main ingredient in a popular weed killer caused cancer in its users. A San Francisco jury Monday awarded more than $2 billion to a couple in their 70s who say glyphosate in Roundup weed killer gave them non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

The couple say they used Roundup for 35 years. Attorneys for the couple say numerous scientific studies show glyphosate led to cancer in both animal and human populations.

The World Health Organization has classified glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic to humans” and last month, Vietnam said it would stop importing Roundup and other weed killers with the ingredient.

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The World Health Organization has classified glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic to humans”. Pixabay

Bayer, Roundup’s manufacturer, argued that hundreds of other scientific tests show glyphosate is safe and that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency determined that when used as directed, glyphosate is not dangerous.

ALSO READ: ‘Canine Brucellosis’- A Dog Disease which can Hit Humans in Iowa

Bayer says it is disappointed by Monday’s verdict and plans to appeal. Two other juries in March and last August awarded multimillion-dollar settlements to Roundup victims, and thousands of other cases are pending against the company.

The Wall Street Journal reports the price of shares in Bayer has dropped 30% since its first courtroom defeat in August. The newspaper also says shareholders are angered the German-based company bought Monsanto last year when it sells a product suspected of causing cancer. (VOA)