Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Forensic cancer treatment: DNA mapping

The new Tumor Profiling Unit labs at the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) will use information in tumour DNA to help find the best "personalised" treatments. Its director Prof Alan Ashworth said this was not science fiction and would be day-to-day practice within a decade. The centre will also investigate how cancers become resistant to drugs.

The field of cancer research is moving rapidly away from defining a cancer by where it is in the body. Instead scientists and doctors are looking deeper at what is going wrong inside cancerous cells - a tumour can have 100,000 genetic mutations and these alter over time. Rapid advances in genome profiling are allowing breakthroughs in understanding which mutations transform a healthy cell into a cancerous one. Read more at the ICR website or follow @ICRNews