Cancer Gene Mutation More Complex than Previously Thought: Study

March 8, 2012


Taking a sample or biopsy from just one part of a tumor might not give a full picture of its genetic diversity and may explain why doctors, despite using genetically targeted drugs, are often unable to save patients whose cancer has spread, scientists said.

A study by British researchers found there are more genetic differences than similarities between biopsies taken from separate areas of the same tumor, and yet further gene differences in samples taken from secondary tumors.

That might help explain why, despite recent development of a wave of highly targeted drugs designed to tackle cancers of specific genetic types, the prognosis remains poor for many patients with so-called solid-tumor disease like breast, lung, or kidney cancer that has spread to others parts of the body... Read More