Experts find new insight of cancer cells, says cancers are caused by genetic damage

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New Delhi : There is a new development in cancer treatment. Experts came to know that new genetic mutations may promote the survival of cancer cells. There is a clear understanding of how some cancer cells are able to resist treatment. Lucio Miele from the Louisiana State University in the US says, “All cancers are caused by genetic damage, mutations to key genes that control the lives of cells.”

A study, published in the journal PLOS ONE reveals that cancers are caused due to genetic damage. Mutant genes that causes cancers, depend upon for survival are called ‘driver’ mutations. 

To conduct the study, researchers tested genes in 44 cancers that no longer responded to therapy. The tumour types included breast, lung, colorectal, sarcomas, neuroendocrine, gastric and ovarian among others.

The researchers observed that these advanced cancers had selected many new possible “driver” mutations never described before, in addition to drivers already known — the cancers had evolved new driver mutations to become resistant.

In some parts, facts was found that an individual cancer had evolved two or even three drivers in the same gene, a sign that multiple cancer cell clones had evolved in the same tumour that had found different ways of mutating a particularly important gene.

Researchers said that most of these new genetic mutations are in functional pathways that can be treated with existing drugs.

Lucio Miele co-author of the study found, “These findings imply that genomic testing should be performed as early as possible to optimise therapy, before cancers evolve new mutations, and that recurrent cancers should be tested again, because their driver mutation may be different from those that existed at diagnosis,”.