Friday, May 18, 2012

Breast cancer is even more complicated than previously thought

And this is supposed to be good news? Personally I always look for the easy way out as my inherent laziness takes over. But this is supposed to be progress.

There was a study in  England (because we needed yet another study)of the protein coding in 100 breast cancer tumors. The result showed how complex breast cancer really is.

The authors wrote in the online edition of Nature “A sobering perspective on the complexity and diversity of the disease is emerging,” ... which is publishing a series of studies of the genetic changes in breast cancer.

The scientists ... found 73 different combinations of disease-causing mutations in the tumors, each involving up to six different genes from a set of 40 “driver genes.” 

Seven of the 40 individual driver genes were mutated in more than 10% of cases, but 33 others that were less common also contributed to the development of the cancers, the team reported.  In 28 cases, a single mutation was enough to cause disease. 

The researchers identified nine new genes that caused the cancers, and also found mutations in genes that were already known to cause breast and other cancers.

Discovering that a single disease — breast cancer — can appear in so many different guises means that developing targeted therapies tailored to a patient’s tumor type will remain a tall order in the near future.

After I read this about six times, it dawned on my tiny chemo brain that:

- they discovered nine new genes that cause breast cancer
- there are driver genes which are the real 'bad guys'

And this is progress? Well I guess if they find the genes that's a good start but its sort of like getting through a locked door and finding nine more locked doors behind them which you need to get through. The good news is you go through the first door. The bad news is there are nine more. And you have no idea what's behind them.

2 comments:

Medha Srikanth said...

Its very difficult to hear the word , " Breast Cancer". I have seen patients going through emotional stress and what happens when they look to their physique.

God should not give this disease to any woman henceforth.

I liked your blog. Very interesting and very amazing.

I have some more on this topic. Please go to this link:

http://breastcancerguide.weebly.com/

Joe said...

The Treatment options for breast cancer are planned after an accurate diagnosis and proper staging of the disease is complete. There are several modalities of treatment, which can be very beneficial if the cancer is diagnosed at an early stage. These include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy and hormonal therapy. These are usually used in combination based on the stage of the breast cancer, menopausal status or presence of hormone receptors(ER/PR) in the tumor.