Does the knowledge about the genomic profile of any cancer help in formulating better treatment options? Yes say the researchers who have in a study analyzed more than 3000 tumor specimens from a wide variety of cancers. They have concluded that 10% cancer patients could be offered better therapies if the Doctor has deeper knowledge about the particular tumor’s DNA and its exact expressions.
The researchers have written about their research in the Journal Cell. According to the researchers, genetic analysis can enable the doctor to gain clinically pertinent analytical information above and beyond cancer stage and primary tissue-of-origin
All cancers today are named and characterized by the location of their origin. Therefore cancer of the rectum will be classified as rectal cancer and those originating in the stomach as stomach cancer. However researchers feel that cancer must be characterized by the genetic and molecular characteristics instead of broadly classifying it on the basis of its location. Identifying the genomic profile of any cancer in place of naming it on the basis of the tissues in the body where it originated can possibly lead to better prognosis and treatment.
The study involves taking help from a mathematical technique to group the tumors according to the genomic similarities. It was revealed that among the dozens of cancers they evaluated, only five matched with traditional categorization which was based on tissues or organs of origin. They exhibited a great deal of dissimilarities regardless of the fact that they were considered the same cancers based upon the location in the body.
The study identified three different types of bladder cancer and this could explain why some persons get excellent results with a particular drug while it fails miserably in the others. There is a need of further study of more tumors and cancers which will lead to reclassifying of cancers and also their appropriate treatment.