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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.

Cancer
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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Risk Of Suicide Quadruples With Cancer: Study

The results could be used to help identify patients who may be at a higher risk for suicide and help health care providers tailor their treatments accordingly.

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A Family In Delhi Commits Suicide To Thank God: Police Reports
While the risk of suicide decreases five years after a diagnosis, the risk remains high for patients with Hodgkin lymphoma and testicular cancer.

People with cancer are over four times more likely to commit suicide than people without the deadly disease, finds a study.

According to researchers from the Penn State Cancer Institute in Pennsylvania, while a lot of progress has been made in treating cancer, not as much research has been put into how cancer affects patients mentally and emotionally.

“Even though cancer is one of the leading causes of death, most cancer patients do not die from cancer, the patients usually die of another cause,” said Nicholas Zaorsky, radiation oncologist at the Penn State Cancer Institute.

“There are multiple competing risks for death, and one of them is suicide. Distress and depression can arise from cancer diagnosis, treatment, financial stress, and other causes. Ultimately, distress and depression may lead to suicide. Our goal was to quantify the risk of suicide among cancer patients,” he added.

Breast Cancer
Chemists develop unique disease-fighting ‘nano-grenades’. VOA

The study, published in the Nature Communications journal, the team compared the risk of suicide in eight million patients who had been diagnosed with cancer and those without.

They found that among people with cancer, males, patients who were diagnosed at a younger age, patients with lung, head, neck and testicular cancer, and lymphomas were more likely to commit suicide.

While the risk of suicide decreases five years after a diagnosis, the risk remains high for patients with Hodgkin lymphoma and testicular cancer.

“Treatments for some cancers — like leukemia and testicular cancer among adolescents and young adults, for example — can decrease a patient’s fertility, and that seems to be one of the risks for suicide in the long term,” Zaorsky said.

Also Read: Here’s What Causes Cancer in Children

“In contrast, elderly patients who are diagnosed with lung, prostate and head and neck cancers, are at an increased risk of suicide for the remainder of their life.”

The results could be used to help identify patients who may be at a higher risk for suicide and help health care providers tailor their treatments accordingly. (IANS)