Gene-Specific Treatments Target Cancers

The two cancer genes, which are part of a class of tumor suppressors, are often oversimplified and simply called “breast cancer genes.”

The two genes are noted for helping inform doctors if a woman has an elevated risk of breast cancer, but there are countless other genes that are being studied for clues into various cancers.

If doctors and researchers can identify the mutations that allow damaged cells to divide faster than healthy cells that could lead to tests and therapies that will offer more tailored treatments. The advances in DNA sequencing have opened the door for cancer genomics, which was named a top 10 emerging technology of 2011 by MIT Technology Review. Although there have been some impressive success stories, there is also a long timeline between identifying genes and translating that into better medicine.

There are concerted research efforts for a handful of genes related to lung cancer, colon cancer, prostate cancer and others. But more than 10 years after the breast cancer genes were identified, there is still much work to be done.

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