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Cracking Cancer’s Code

Forums General Melanoma Community Cracking Cancer’s Code

  • Post
    JerryfromFauq
    Participant

      Two interesting articles that shows how the Genome Project has affected cancer research.  The following is just a brief excerpt from the longer articles.

      1. http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,2075133_2075127_2075104,00.html

      http://defeatosteosarcoma.org/2011/06/cracking-cancers-code/

      Two interesting articles that shows how the Genome Project has affected cancer research.  The following is just a brief excerpt from the longer articles.

      1. http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,2075133_2075127_2075104,00.html

      http://defeatosteosarcoma.org/2011/06/cracking-cancers-code/

      Eager to put genotyping into practice, doctors at MD Anderson and Massachusetts General Hospital, among others, have already begun using sequencing technology to guide treatment of patients in clinical trials. Even without the full genome map of certain cancers, clinicians are using known mutations linked to cancer to dictate which drugs patients receive. In MD Anderson's program, all lung-cancer patients are offered the chance to join a trial in which their tumors are genetically analyzed for some well-known genetic defects thought to play a role in cancer. About 15% of lung cancers, for example, show mutations in a gene that makes a protein critical for cell growth. Patients with this aberration can enroll in trials in which FDA-approved drugs targeting that mutation are being tested as a first-line therapy, instead of chemotherapy, for treating their disease, giving them a head start in gaining any benefits the drugs might provide. (At the moment, these drugs are approved only for patients with advanced cancer for whom other therapies have failed.)

      Cancer experts aren't naive enough to believe that sequencing a tumor just once will reveal all they need to know. Cancer is constantly changing its offensive and defensive plans in response to whatever treatments doctors are using against it. The idea is to rebiopsy patients periodically and allow the dynamic genetic changes in the tumors to educate doctors about how aggressive the cancer is, whether it has developed resistance to drugs and even whether it has spread. "The concept is to let the tumor teach us how to treat patients," says Dr. Waun Ki Hong, head of cancer medicine at MD Anderson.

      It's all part of the leap toward personalized cancer care, the therapeutic beacon toward which researchers and doctors have been navigating for a long time. "We fully expect that 10 years from now, each cancer patient is going to want to get a genomic analysis of their cancer and will expect customized therapy based on that information," says Brad Ozenberger, TCGA's program director. Only with more individualized therapies that match the right treatment with the right patient at the right time will the battle ultimately be won.

      2.  http://www.sanger.ac.uk/about/press/2009/091216b.html

      16th December 2009    Malignant melanoma genome contains 33,000 mutations

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    • Replies
        justlittleoleme
        Participant

          Thanks Jerry.  Interesting reads.

          justlittleoleme
          Participant

            Thanks Jerry.  Interesting reads.

            mombase
            Participant

              Hi Jerry,

              My brain is does not wrap easily around scientific data, so I have a question for you regarding the second article. Am I interpreting correctly  that UV damage affects the cells at the skin level, but if the cells metasticize away from the skin, it is something other than UV damage that causes the spreading of the cancer cells?

              Thanks!

              Cristy, Stage IV

              mombase
              Participant

                Hi Jerry,

                My brain is does not wrap easily around scientific data, so I have a question for you regarding the second article. Am I interpreting correctly  that UV damage affects the cells at the skin level, but if the cells metasticize away from the skin, it is something other than UV damage that causes the spreading of the cancer cells?

                Thanks!

                Cristy, Stage IV

                  JerryfromFauq
                  Participant

                    They believe that UVA and UVB damage is the major cause of most mutations that occur in the sun exposed skin areas.  They don't know what causes the mutations in other areas (like mine.) 

                       One thing that I have read is that in most cancers, only 5% of the cancers cells have the ability to metastasize (spread to other locations).  In melanoma they say that up to 95% of the melanoma cancer cells have the capability to metastasize.  I do not know why the melanoma cells are so much more aggressive.  I have never read that UV rays cause spreading of the disease, just that they cause primary tumors.  Most spread is done thru the lymphatic system and not most oftn through the blood supply.

                    JerryfromFauq
                    Participant

                      They believe that UVA and UVB damage is the major cause of most mutations that occur in the sun exposed skin areas.  They don't know what causes the mutations in other areas (like mine.) 

                         One thing that I have read is that in most cancers, only 5% of the cancers cells have the ability to metastasize (spread to other locations).  In melanoma they say that up to 95% of the melanoma cancer cells have the capability to metastasize.  I do not know why the melanoma cells are so much more aggressive.  I have never read that UV rays cause spreading of the disease, just that they cause primary tumors.  Most spread is done thru the lymphatic system and not most oftn through the blood supply.

                    PeterO
                    Participant

                      And might I ask, who's going to pay for this? "Personalized medicine" implies a therapy plan of one. We can't afford the cost of care as things stand, when at least a few hundred of us stand some chance of benefitting from new drugs for advanced melanoma. Reality bites.

                      PeterO
                      Participant

                        And might I ask, who's going to pay for this? "Personalized medicine" implies a therapy plan of one. We can't afford the cost of care as things stand, when at least a few hundred of us stand some chance of benefitting from new drugs for advanced melanoma. Reality bites.

                          JerryfromFauq
                          Participant

                            The personalized cancer treatment techniiques I have read about seem to be along the TIL lines where there is a set process that then uses a persons own cells to fight their own tumors.

                            JerryfromFauq
                            Participant

                              The personalized cancer treatment techniiques I have read about seem to be along the TIL lines where there is a set process that then uses a persons own cells to fight their own tumors.

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