Breast Cancer Treatments Breakthrough As Scientists Create Almost Complete Genetic Map

03/05/2016 13:03

Scientists have created an almost complete genetic map of breast cancer which could lead to faster, personalised and more effective treatments of the disease.

Called a 'milestone' moment, it's the largest study of its kind and looks to understand what makes our DNA turn healthy tissue cancerous.

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The huge study, which has been published in Nature, looked at all three billion letters of genetic code in over 500 breast cancers.

By trawling through the code the international team of scientists were able to uncover 93 genes which, if mutated, would cause tumours.

It's believed that this study will provide the definitive list, with a few rare mutations being the exception.

The study will hopefully then transform the way that breast cancer is diagnosed and treated.

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By effectively knowing their enemy, the hope is that this list can now provide universities and pharmaceutical companies with all the information they need to create more targeted treatments.

This in turn should then advance the personalisation of care as well by allowing drugs which are tailored to specific mutations.

Prof Sir Mike Stratton, the director of the Sanger Institute in Cambridge told the BBC, "There are about 20,000 genes in the human genome. It turns out, now we have this complete view of breast cancer - there are 93 of those [genes] that if mutated will convert a normal breast cell into a breast cancer cell. That is an important piece of information."

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