Largest cancer gene databa

2013-07-17 00:00

NATIONAL Cancer Institute scientists have released the largest database of cancer-related genetic variations, providing researchers the most comprehensive way so far to figure out how to target treatments for the disease.

Open access worldwide to the new database, based on genome studies, is expected to help researchers accelerate development of new drugs and better match patients with therapies, the NCI said on Monday.

“Most anti-cancer drugs today are used based on their empirical activity,” Dr Yves Pommier, of the NCI in Maryland, U.S, said.

Most cancer treatments involve a lot of guess work because doctors have no way to determine how a patient is likely to respond to many common drugs or chemotherapy, or which cancers will develop resistance. To create the database, the NCI team sequenced 60 human cancer cell lines, generating a list of cancer-specific variations for different areas of the body. The results were published in the journal Cancer Research.

Researchers could mine the data, for instance, to determine whether the chemotherapy drug Cisplatin is associated with specific genetic mutations, Pommier said. Before the drugs are administered, patients can be tested for specific genetic mutations that would make the drug more likely to be beneficial to them.

— Reuters.

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