From an investigation of more than 2,000 tumors bridging 12 types of human cancer, scientists have establish 27 new genes that could stop the disease in its paths.
The findings of these genes could unlocked the door to much-needed personalized treatments for cancer, say the researchers.
First study author of the Francis Crick Institute in the United Kingdom, Jonas Demeulemeester and colleagues currently announced their discoveries in the journal Nature Communications.
Cancer become apparent when cells develop and split uncontrollably, forming tumors.
Human cells usually comprise of two copies of tumor suppressor genes, which work to secure tumor formation by reducing down cell division and growth.
When these genes are erased via genetic mutations, for example — this gives rise to cancer growth.
As general rule, in order for tumors to form, both copies of the tumor suppressor genes must break down in a cell.
This is because a lone performing tumor suppressor gene can still manufacture the proteins needed to slow down cell division and growth.
But the researchers record that establishing these double-gene irregularity is challenging.
One problem is that tumors normally contain a mix of healthy and cancerous cells in different proportions, making it hard to determine whether one or two tumor suppressor genes are missing in cancer cells.
A statistical model have been created which make use of single nucleotide polymorphism analysis — that could assist to control such difficulties. So far, it has helped them to spot an array of new tumor suppressor genes.
Model were used by the researchers to evaluate the number of tumor suppressor genes in the cells of 2,218 tumors across 12 types of cancer.
These comprises of breast, lung, colorectal, ovarian, and brain cancers.
The model not only authorize the team to calculate the relative proportions of healthy and cancerous cells in each tumor, making it easier to control the presence of tumor suppressor genes in the cells, but it also disclosed the clear “DNA footprint” of tumor suppressor genes.
This allowed them to differentiate these genes from non-harmful gene mutations.
Researchers pick out a total of 96 gene deletions among the tumors.
These included 43 tumor suppressor genes, of which 27 were previously unspecified.
The senior study author Peter Van Loo, also of the Francis Crick Institute, explain that rare tumor suppressor genes can be discovered through large-scale analysis of the number of copies of genes in cancer samples.
“Cancer genomics is a growing area of study, and the computational tools we use are strong way to find new genes involved in cancer,” he adds.
In the United States, more than 1.6 million new cancer occurrence were identify last year, and more than 595,000 people died from the disease.
As stated by Jonas Demeulemeester and his associate, their findings may lead to personalized cancer therapies that is, treatments that are tailored to individual patients based on the genetic makeup of their tumors.
Source: Medical News Today