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Speedy Gene Test Leads To ‘Smart Treatments’ For Individual Cancer Patients

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Speedy Gene Test Leads To ‘Smart Treatments’ For Individual Cancer Patients

Newindividual speedy gene tests can detect gene abnormalities in cancer patients andcan help scientists create anddoctorsuse “smarter treatments” to increase cancer patientslife expectancy.

The new test screens for 14 distinct key mutations that are directly linked to cancer. The test is conducted on tumor tissue samples and the results are ready in about three weeks. Depending on the results, patients who had surgery will receive the best treatment option available for their specific mutation.

Researchers from the USinformed thatthe new speedy gene test is now available, and there are already some non-small cell lung cancerpatients who benefited fromits results. One from ten screened patients,was found with a certain mutation that would normally not show up in standard testsand could have ledto unnecessary treatments or unwanted side effects.

A study recently published in Annals of Oncologyjournal,suggests that the new testcan lead to more specific cancer treatments.

The new gene test was developed by Dr LeciaSequistand Dora Santagata co-director of the Massachusetts General Hospital Translational Research Laboratory.

Dr Lecia Sequisttest is so specificbecause ithelps doctors lookfor mutations in cancer cells , and not in healthy body cells. These mutations in simple terms give mutant cancer cells the possibility to multiply chaotically andtreatments that are specific for each gene mutation have been available for some time now. Knowing the exact mutation can lead to an exact treatment target that is more likely to be effective.

Choosing the correct treatment option can raise the response rate in non-small cell lung cancer from 30% to up to 75% and could significantlyimprove survivalrates accordingto Dr LeciaSequist.

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Genetic Cancer Test

In a recent study which included near 600 lung cancer patients,cancer tissue samples were screen for 50 gene mutationsites froma total of 14 genes. The avreatgetime from sample harvesting to result was about19 days.Fifty per cent of thetested samples were found positive for one or several mutations. Not so long ago, gene testing was posible only for a few mutation at the same time.

Dr LeciaSequistand Dora Santagatawere the first to succeedin screening multiple genemutations in NSCLCpatients using onlyonespecific test. This particulartest is a very important step forwardfor specific targeted cancer therapy. The results concluded that up to 10% of tested patients presented gene mutations that could not be normallyfound performingless comprehensive tests. The good news is that cancer laboratories already have the necessary equipment that can be usedto performthis specific test.

Dr Dias-Santagatais now busy screening other potential beneficiaries for gene abnormalities such as breast cancer patients, cerebral cancer patients and colon cancer patients. Blood cancers and acute myeloid leukaemia are next on the list.