A Step Closer to Personalized Cancer Cure

An article published in the September 6 issue of Science Express discusses the breakthrough achieved by the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center scientists who have completed the first draft of the genetic code for breast and colon cancers.

[The study] identifies close to 200 mutated genes, now linked to these cancers, most of which were not previously recognized as associated with tumor initiation, growth, spread or control.

Because no two patients are the same with breast and colon cancer, therapies are very hard to administer. Ultimately, once we know enough about all of the implicated genes, it will be possible to find out which of a particular patient’s genes are affected and treat only those genes. From the BBC Article:

Dr Anna Barker of the National Cancer Institute said: “Maximising the numbers of targets available for drug development in a specific cancer means that patients will ultimately receive more personalized, less toxic therapies.”

She also said: “In the future, scientists hope to be able to tailor plans for preventing or treating cancer to each person’s individual genetic profile. Studies like this can help us to accomplish this goal.”

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