They decipher the “genetic chaos” that prevents the treatment of serious cancer

Jeff McIntyre and Barbara Hernando.

Researchers at National Center for Cancer Research (CNIO) and Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute, have perfected a method for revealing the genetic chaos of the deadliest cancers and use this information to treat them more effectively. As described in a peer-reviewed article published in the journal Nature, the new biomarker facilitates fingerprint detection in the genome of tumors that allow knowledge of mutational mechanism causing tumor development and thus makes it possible to identify the vulnerability of these tumors against which to target treatment.

According to the CNIO, knowing the genomic identity of the most aggressive cancers will allow, first, more accurate diagnoses and the second choosing the most optimal treatment for every patient, something that has so far been very difficult for these cancers.

The study was co-led by Jeff McIntyre, head of the computer oncology team at CNIO, and Florian Markovets, a senior researcher at Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute (UK), and a scientist from the Spanish Center, Barbara Hernandoand scientists from other British, Canadian, Belgian and German centers.

The cause of genomic instability may be known

The work is aimed at decrypting the call chromosomal instability, one of the hallmarks of the most aggressive cancers. Under normal conditions, the body’s cells, by dividing, make sure that the daughter cells have the right number of chromosomes. However, a cancer cell usually loses or gains chromosome fragments or whole chromosomes, and therefore their genomes do not have the exact amount of genetic material.

It is “genetic chaos “caused by a mechanism known as genomic instability is found to a greater extent in more serious cancers those with the highest mortality. Therefore, higher levels of genomic instability are associated with more advanced stages of cancer, poorer prognosis, metastases and resistance to therapies often used clinically against these aggressive tumors.

Chromosomal instability is a very complex biological phenomenon, as it has various causes and many consequences. Therefore, so far, when a tumor is detected, the clinical diagnosis is limited to showing whether there is high or low chromosomal instability, but is not included in the analysis. neither the scope nor the causes of this genomic instability. And that’s exactly what furtherallows the work done by CNIO researchers.

Studies characterize the causes, diversity, and extent of chromosomal instability associated with the most severe tumors. But the work goes much further because it applies to everyone different type of chromosomal instability with disease characteristics in cancer patients. Knowing each specific tumor in depth will make it possible for both the diagnosis and the chosen treatment to be much more accurate.

The biomarker will help you choose the most effective treatment

Currently, the most modern cancer treatment is based on the so-called precision medicine, which allows therapy to be selected in a way that is consistent with the genetic and molecular characteristics of each patient’s tumor. The problem with tumors with high chromosomal instability is that they do not allow the use of this type of drug effective because they do not have a single “defective” gene, but many.

The work of CNIO researchers put an end to this impossibility as it creates a catalog of models of chromosomal instability that can be identified at diagnosis. And each of these models is related to information about its possible response to drugs commonly used against different types of tumors and the identification of other possible pharmacological targets.

Which means these models will serve as oncological biomarkers extremely useful for diagnosis of the most aggressive tumors and above all in choosing the most appropriate therapy to combat them, because, as Jeff McIntyre, co-director of the study, explains: “Our biomarkers cann anticipate the efficacy that therapies will have on a specific tumor ”. “To obtain these patterns of different genomic chaos,” McIntyre continues, “we analyzed the chromosomal instability of 7880 tumor samples from 33 different cancers.

The group that conducted this study created a separate company called Tailor Bio, based in the United Kingdom, which licensed a patent for the method described in the article by nature, in addition to another patent obtained on previous work that the team developed in the same line of work. The intention of the researchers with these steps is this progress cto be used in clinical practice as soon as possible.

Although it may contain statements, data or notes from healthcare institutions or specialists, the information contained in Medical Writing is edited and prepared by journalists. We recommend that the reader consult all health issues with a health professional.

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