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New Cancer Encyclopedia Published

New Cancer Encyclopedia Published

Researchers publish the first edition of new cancer encyclopedia…

Cancer research has come a long way in recent years; many scientists are already on the brink of curing the disease, it’s just so resilient that fending off its fatal onslaught is no easy feat.

In order to consolidate previous research, the first volume of the world’s only caner encyclopedia has been published in the journal Nature. The data is complied from two major studies one led by Dr Levi Garraway of The Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT, Cambridge, and another by Dr Mathew Garnett of the Sanger Institute.

Researchers worldwide hope the data will provide a solid basis for the future development of cancer fighting medicines.

The encyclopedia attempts to catalog the hundreds of different cancer �?cell lines’ and how these genetic signatures are affected by medications.

cancer cells1 550x400 New Cancer Encyclopedia Published

New Cancer Encyclopedia

Image Credit: Dr. Raowf Guirguis, 1988.

So far a British team at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute near Cambridge together with colleagues in the US, Paris and Switzerland, have screened more than 600 cancer cell lines with 130 drugs, identifying genetic signatures linked with drug sensitivity.

The data has already shown that a rare bone cancer in children (Ewings sarcoma) appears to be vulnerable to certain drugs.

Garnett told reporters:

Its bringing together two very large and very powerful data sets and asking which cell line is the most sensitive and what is behind that sensitivity

This is the largest study of its kind linking drug response with genetic markers. You need these very large studies to identify small subsets of cells that are sensitive to drugs. [BBC]

Garraway added:

Developing this large cell-line resource with all the associated genetic details is another piece in the pie to get us to our goal of personalized cancer medicine

Were trying to get smarter about understanding what the right drug is using the genetic information in each tumor. This is a stepping stone along the way.

The next step in the project is to use the date to develop cancer drugs specifically tailored for the patient. This will be achieved by taken a biopsy of the tumor, running the tests and matching the genetic fingerprint with the date available in the cancer encyclopedia.

By doing this, scientists can determine which drugs will work best depending on the patients genes. For example researchers already know the Herceptin, a breast cancer drug that works in patients with an overactive HER2 gene.

Experts hope the publishing of such data will help uncover more links between genetics and the effects of cancer drugs.

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