Tags: Cancer | breast | cancer | genes

5 More Breast Cancer Genes Found, Paving Way to New Treatments

5 More Breast Cancer Genes Found, Paving Way to New Treatments
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By    |   Wednesday, 11 May 2016 02:24 PM

In an exciting new discovery that could lead to new breast cancer treatments, scientists have identified five new genes linked to the disease, as well as 13 new “mutational signatures” that influence tumor development.

The discovery — by a team of scientists led by Dr. Serena Nik-Zainal, with the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute — was based on an analysis of 560 breast cancer genomes of 556 female and four male patients from around the world.

The researchers found that breast cancer genomes are highly individual, noting that women who carry the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, known to increase the risk of developing breast or ovarian cancer, had completely different genomes.

This discovery could lead to a much more specific classification of patients, and more effective personalized treatments tailored to individuals with the disease, the researchers said.

Not only was the study able to identify the new genes and mutational signals, it was able to identify the precise locations of these DNA codes that encourage tumor growth.

“We know genetic changes and their position in the cancer genome influence how a person responds to a cancer therapy,” said Dr. Ewan Birney, a collaborator from the European Bioinformatics Institute.

“For years we have been trying to figure out if parts of DNA that don't code for anything specific have a role in driving cancer development. This study both gave us the first large scale view of the rest of the genome, uncovering some new reasons why breast cancer arises, and gave us an unexpected way to characterize the types of mutations that happen in certain breast cancers.”

Mike Stratton, director of the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, added: "All cancers are due to mutations that occur in all of us in the DNA of our cells during the course of our lifetimes. Finding these mutations is crucial to understanding the causes of cancer and to developing improved therapies.

"This huge study, examining in great detail the many thousands of mutations present in each of the genomes of 560 cases brings us much closer to a complete description of the changes in DNA in breast cancer and thus to a comprehensive understanding of the causes of the disease and the opportunities for new treatments.”

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Scientists have identified five new genes linked to breast cancer in an advance that could open the door to new treatments.
breast, cancer, genes
Wednesday, 11 May 2016 02:24 PM
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