A team from The Institute of Cancer Research, London (ICR) and the University of Edinburgh has come up with a measure to foresee cancers expansion, which is believed to be a great support for cancer treatment.
The team developed a new method known as Revolver (Repeated Evolution of Cancer). The technique involves in identify patterns in DNA mutation within the tumour and using the information to forecast genetic changes.
One of the biggest obstacles in curing cancer is the nature of the tumour which could evolve its own resistance to drug. But if doctors can predict how a tumour will evolve, they could intervene earlier to increase the patient’s chances of survival. For example, when researchers examine breast tumours, which had sequence of errors in genetic material that codes for the tumour-suppressing protein p53, followed by mutations in chromosome 8, they realized these tumours survived in a shorter period than those with other similar trajectories of genetic changes.
In the research, 768 tumour samples from 178 patients were examined, the samples varied from lungs, breast, kidney, bowel… to accurately detect and compare changes in each type of cancer.
If the tumour developing progress follows a certain pattern, then this methodology could be a powerful tool to predict the future trajectory of tumour development.