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article imageImprovements to lung cancer screening

By Tim Sandle     Jul 22, 2013 in Health
A new health screening strategy has revealed that gene faults in tumor cells offer possible drug targets for the treatment of lung cancer.
These new target for tackling lung cancer has been shown by scientists working for Cancer Research, at the Paterson Institute for Cancer Research at the University of Manchester. According to Cancer Research, lung cancer is the second most common type of cancer diagnosed in the UK with around 42,000 new cases a year, accounting for 13 per cent of all cancer cases, and has one of the lowest survival rates of any cancer. Overall, fewer than one in 10 people diagnosed with lung cancer survive for at least five years after diagnosis.
For the study, the scientists discovered three key gene faults that cause the production of overactive proteins and send signals to tumor cells to make them grow uncontrollably.
To reach this conclusion, the team looked at six different non-small cell lung cancer cell lines that they grew in their laboratory, with each carrying at least 60 gene faults. The scientists then managed to witch off the faulty genes to see whether or not this prevented the cells from growing. This study was successful.
Undertaking this type of trial in a ‘petri dish’ is not the same as demonstrating the effect in people. However the laboratory trials offer a clear direction for future research. The research could help to speed up the introduction of personalized medicine for lung cancer patients.
Commenting on the findings, Dr John Brognard of the institute, who led the study, said the research provides "a new approach that can be personalized to an individual patient's tumor and can identify in real time potential drug targets".
The findings have been published in the journal PNAS in a paper titled “Targeted genetic dependency screen facilitates identification of actionable mutations in FGFR4, MAP3K9, and PAK5 in lung cancer”
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