genomics Archives - NFCR

genomics

NFCR’s Genomics Newsroom: New genes linked to increased risk of ovarian and brain cancer

What is “genomics”?

Cancer develops when genetic material (DNA) becomes damaged or changed. We know some cancer causing genetic changes are acquired (i.e. smoking), while others are inherited. Studying cancer genomics explores the differences between cancer cells and normal cells. Advances in understanding how cancer behaves at a genomic and molecular level is helping doctors treat cancer “smarter”.

12 new genes identified that drive ovarian cancer

Ovarian cancer is a leading cause of death for women worldwide. The estimated five-year survival rate for patients whose ovarian cancer is detected early is about 93%. However, only 15% of women are diagnosed at the early stages when treatment is most successful. Ovarian cancer can be difficult to diagnose because initial symptoms are similar to gastrointestinal illness and indigestion.

Using a novel genotyping technique, an international team of scientists from the United Kingdom, the U.S. and Australia analyzed the DNA of almost 100,000 people, including 17,000 patients with the most common type of ovarian cancer. Their findings revealed 12 new genetic variants that raise the likelihood of developing ovarian cancer and could eventually help doctors predict someone’s chances of developing this disease with greater accuracy and/or treat it with greater success.

13 new gene mutations identified that drive brain cancer

Another study led by scientists at the Institute of Cancer Research in the UK uncovered 13 new gene mutations linked to increased risk of glioma- the most common form of brain cancer. One of the genetic changes discovered increases risk of brain cancer by as much as 33%, with the rest by at least 15%. These findings are significant as currently there are no effective means to detecting brain cancer early – and this may provide researchers the chance to understand more about how brain cancer develops and how we may one day best treat it, or even prevent it.

Genomics research is helping us attack these cancers – and all types of cancer. NFCR has distinguished itself from other organizations by emphasizing long-term, transformative research and working to move people toward cancer genomics. To learn more about specific research by NFCR-funded scientists, click here.

 

Read more

NFCR’s Genomics Newsroom: New Method to Detect Biomarkers

What is “genomics”?

Cancer develops when genetic material (DNA) becomes damaged or changed. We know some cancer- causing genetic changes are acquired (i.e. smoking), while others are inherited. Studying cancer genomics explores the differences between cancer cells and normal cells. Advances in understanding how cancer behaves at the genomic and molecular level are helping oncologists treat cancer with greater success.  This is the key to precision medicine, treating each individual’s cancer as unique.

New Method for Detection: MishCTC

Metastasis— the spread of cancer to a different organ or tissue— is responsible for the vast majority of cancer-related deaths.  As cancer grows, certain cells detach from a primary tumor and travel through the bloodstream or lymphatic system to other parts of the body. Detecting these circulating tumor cells (CTCs) from blood samples could help with early diagnosis of cancer, but the biggest challenge facing CTC detection is that there is a lack of reliable biomarkers.genomics-feature-image

A new method called MishCTC is being developed to enhance the detection sensitivity.  The new method is designed to detect a molecular biomarker called miRNA-21, which is a small RNA molecule that exists inside the tumor cells but can’t be detected in normal blood cells. Thus, miRNA-21 is an ideal marker for detecting CTCs.

With continual optimization, the MishCTC method could be used for molecular diagnostics in hospitals in the future. The results of this new test would provide vital and personalized information about a patient’s diagnosis, prognosis and metastasis, which will guide the doctors to make much better and effective decisions to treat their patients.

Genomic Testing

MishCTC is a new method to detect cancer biomarkers.  Once detected, we can more easily detect the “Achilles heel” of the cancer.  While traditional methods treat cancer based on the body part where the cancer first originated, genomic testing looks at cancer on the molecular level.

Genomic testing reveals the unique genomic drivers for each patient’s cancer. This empowers oncologists to design optimal, individualized therapies to maximize treatment success. Click here to learn more about genomic testing.

Read more