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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 Ribbon. Pixabay
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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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Women Rising Early Have Lower Risk of Breast Cancer

"In other words, it may not be the case that changing your habits changes your risk of breast cancer; it may be more complex than that," she noted

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Early rising women at lower risk of breast cancer: Study. Pixabay

Women who begin their day early are likely to have a lower of risk breast cancer, than late beginners, suggests a research.

The study found that a preference for mornings reduced the risk of breast cancer by 40 per cent compared with being an evening type.

It also found that women who slept longer than the recommended seven to eight hours had a 20 per cent increased risk of the disease per additional hour slept.

“The findings of a protective effect of morning preference on breast cancer risk in this study are consistent with previous research highlighting a role for night shift work and exposure to ‘light-at-night’ as risk factors for breast cancer,” said Rebecca Richmond, a research student in the Cancer Research UK.

“We know already that night shift work is associated with worse mental and physical health. This study provides further evidence to suggest disrupted sleep patterns may have a role in cancer development,” she added.

The results were presented at the 2018 NCRI Cancer Conference in Glasgow.

For the study, the team looked at data from 180,215 women, and 228,951 women part of a genome-wide association study of breast cancer.

Cancer
Cancer Ribbon. Pixabay

Using genetic variants associated with people’s preference for morning or evening, sleep duration and insomnia, they investigated whether these sleep traits have a causal contribution to the risk of developing breast cancer.

They also found some evidence for a causal effect of increased sleep duration and sleep fragmentation on breast cancer.

The researchers believe their findings have implications for policy-makers and employers.

Also Read- New Gene Responsible For Rare Genetic Hair Loss Discovered

“These findings have potential policy implications for influencing sleep habits of the general population in order to improve health and reduce risk of breast cancer among women,” Richmond said.

Richmond said: “We would like to do further work to investigate the mechanisms underpinning these results, as the estimates obtained are based on questions related to morning or evening preference rather than actually whether people get up earlier or later in the day.

“In other words, it may not be the case that changing your habits changes your risk of breast cancer; it may be more complex than that,” she noted. (IANS)