Fighting cancer

Groundbreaking study gives new insight into causes of breast cancer

(ARMEND NIMANI/AFP/Getty Images)

A sweeping new breast cancer study that analyzed 560 breast cancer genomes in people around the world — including four men — has found five new genes linked to the disease, which scientists say could lead to a better understanding of why the disease occurs. The research was centered on mutations in DNA that encourage tumors to grow, so by mapping the changes in DNA that occur in breast cancer patients, the researchers found evidence that breast cancer genomes are highly individualized. The discovery might help in developing potential new treatments. Women who had certain specific genes that were linked to a higher risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer, were shown to have genome profiles that were distinctive from each other, as well as from other types of breast cancer. “In the future, we’d like to be able to profile individual cancer genomes so that we can identify the treatment most likely to be successful for a woman or man diagnosed with breast cancer. It is a step closer to personalized healthcare for cancer.” said Dr. Serena Nik-Zainal, who led the team of researchers. According to the researchers, discovering these gene mutations is crucial to understanding the causes of the disease, and providing such tailored treatments.

Read the full story at The Independent.

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