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Cancer gene test will enable targeted cancer treatment

Published on 09/11/2011

Scientists in the US have found a way to screen cancer patients for a wide range of cancer-causing genetic mutations.

This method could soon be used in routine clinical practise, leading to the development of targeted cancer treatments for patients with private health insurance.

The study, published in the cancer journal Annals of Oncology, produced a clinical test called SNaPshot which can test for over 50 well-known mutation sites in 14 key cancer genes.

Dr Dias-Santagata, one of the researchers, said: "This test allows us to look for a defined set of common mutations that occur in cancer cells, but not in the other cells of the body.

“Because each tumour will harbour a specific set of mutations, the SNaPshot test allows us to match individual patients with the therapies that will most likely be effective in treating their cancer."

SNaPshot can be performed in most existing clinical molecular diagnostic laboratories, using equipment that is already available.

Up until now, it has only been possible to search for single or a small number of genetic mutations. With SNaPshot, it will be possible to screen cancer patients for a broad range of cancer-causing genetic mutations. Doctors will then be able to target tumours with the most appropriate therapy.

SNaPshot was originally tested on patients with non-small-cell lung cancer, but the team are now using it in a range of solid tumours such as colorectal and breast. They are now planning to extend their analysis to cancers of the blood.

Patients with full cancer cover on their private medical insurance policy will have access to cutting edge drugs and treatments not available on the NHS. Compare health insurance policies online now to prepare for the new targeted cancer treatments that could soon reach the UK.

© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2011

Categories:  Medical
Cancer gene test will enable targeted cancer treatmentScientists in the US have found a way to screen cancer patients for a wide range of cancer-causing genetic mutations. This method could so    tweet it on twittershare with your friends on Facebookshare with your friends on MySpaceBlog it on your LinkedIn profile

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