Thursday, April 22, 2021
Home Life Style Health & Fitness Celebrate February 4 As World Cancer Day

Celebrate February 4 As World Cancer Day

In India, the application of cancer genetic testing in therapeutic decisions has seen tremendous increase particularly in lung, breast, gastrointestinal and colorectal cancers

The world every year celebrates February 4 as World Cancer Day. Dedicating the day to all the cancer survivors, spreading awareness related to cancer especially how inheritance of our DNA determines the term in cancer genetics.

A gene is a unit of inheritance of our DNA that determines our characteristics including physical, behavioral, and clinical and the term ‘hereditary’ means passed from the genes of a parent to the child. In cancer genetics, often these terms are used interchangeably.

The majority of us have a perception of genetics in the terms of hereditary lineage. However, there are quite of few gene mutations which are not inherited but acquired during the course of an individual’s life due to a set of predisposing events or lifestyle habits.

Follow NewsGram on Facebook to stay updated.

This brings us to the question: “What can genetics do in cancer apart from telling the hereditary predisposition and vulnerability to cancer?” The answer is the D-P-T (Diagnosis-Prognosis-Therapeutics) Triangle.

For example, A 63-year-old man develops lung cancer without having any first/second-degree relatives diagnosed with cancer. These are sporadic cancers constituting more than 85 percent of all newly-diagnosed cancers. Scientific research has contributed significantly to our understanding of lung cancer, its onset, and the importance of screening cancer-causing genes for mutations which helps physicians to provide targeted therapy to kill or overcome cancer.

Cancer genetics: Beyond hereditary cancer (Health Notes) (February 4 is World Cancer Day).

The presence of EGFR gene mutation in lung cancer implies that one particular class of anti-cancer drugs are highly effective in killing lung cancer cells and thus improving the quality of life and survival of a patient. Beyond this, the research identified a subsequent secondary mutation in the EGFR gene in patients who are already on the targeted drugs. These mutations make the cancer cells resistant to the drug.

To address this challenge, fourth-generation drugs are in the pipeline that could specifically kill those cancer cells that have developed resistance to the first, second, and third-generation drugs. This is a classic example of how genetic testing has helped in the treatment planning and management of cancer and is an example of cancer genetics beyond heredity.

* Cancer genetics in the diagnosis

An accurate diagnosis of a type or subtype of cancer can be helpful to better manage the disease. There are multiple other cases where a mutation in genes confirm the diagnosis and hence guide the further course of action. For example, in leukemia, there are a set of genes, if mutated, that help in distinguishing myeloproliferative neoplasm (MPN – a type of leukemia) from other benign causes of cytopenias (reduction of mature blood cells).

* Cancer genetics in prognosis

Prognosis in simple terms means the prediction of how the disease is going to progress. This application is helpful to understand whether the disease requires aggressive treatment or not. For example, there is a standard recommendation of IGHV gene mutation testing in chronic lymphocytic leukemia. If this gene is mutated, clinical studies have shown that these patients do not show an aggressive disease phenotype and hence may not require aggressive treatment. However, for patients who are not mutated for the IGHV gene, clinical studies have shown that the disease progresses aggressively and the treatment regimen could be re-worked for improving the quality of life and survival of these patients.

Cancer survivor, Flickr

* Cancer genetics in therapeutics

The term targeted therapy would not be the same in cancer, if not for genetics. There are some genes which help in treatment decision called oncogenes/tumor suppressors, wherein a sporadic mutation changes the function of the gene-inducing cellular processes leading to uncontrolled cell division causing cancer. This intrinsic property of the cancer cell is advantageous to drug manufacturers for developing molecules that block the protein and inhibit cancer progression or kill the cancer cells.

ALSO READ- Heart And Cancer Diseases Can Be Kept Away With Natural Antioxidants

In India, the application of cancer genetic testing in therapeutic decisions has seen a tremendous increase particularly in the lung, breast, gastrointestinal and colorectal cancers.

(The article was originally written in 2019, and was re-edited on February 4, 2021.)



Most Popular

All In The Mind: The State Of Mental Health In Corporate India

A study highlighting the role of the workplace in causing, furthering, and perpetuating mental illness, launched by Gi Group India, a leading human capital...

Instagram’s New Feature To Protect People From Abusive DMs

Facebook-owned Instagram on Wednesday announced a new feature to protect people from seeing abusive direct messages (DMs), as well as the ability to prevent...

Spiritual Power To Guard: Devotees Of Lord Ram Spread Message Of Covid19 Norms

In the wake of Bengaluru witnessing an unprecedented surge in Covid cases since the last month, devotees of Lord Ram wore costumes of Ram,...

Know What Lies Behind Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan’s Challenge To The State?

Pakistan's government has been put under a severe challenge and test by an Islamist party, which has wreaked havoc in the country this week...

Religious Hardliners Bring Pakistan Govt To A Standstill

The current ruling government of Pakistan, led by Prime Minister Imran Khan, may have come with a vision of progress and open-mindedness to create...

Football And Its Evolution

By- Khushi Bisht Football, also known as soccer, has a long and illustrious history. According to a global study conducted by FIFA, over 250 million...

Nikola Tesla: A Man Ahead Of His Time

BY- JAYA CHOUDHARY When discussing the greatest inventors of all time, Nikola Tesla is sometimes overlooked in history lessons at school. We often hear names...

The Best Documentaries You Can Watch On The Internet Today

By Nauman Abrar As children, most of us disliked documentaries because they were long, boring, very close to reality, and based on the truth. That...

Recent Comments