Medical Research Council - London Institute of Medical Sciences

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World Cancer Day Prostate's Progress

DNA analysis of hundreds of tumours sub-classifies different types of prostate cancer, meaning better tailored treatments

04 February 2019

Prostate's Progress

What turns normal cells in the prostate (stained green) into cancer cells (red and white)? Why are some prostate cancers slow growing and don’t need immediate treatment, while others quickly become life-threatening? And which therapy will work best for a particular patient? To answer these questions, researchers are trawling through DNA from hundreds of tumour samples, using high-powered computer programmes to sift all this genetic information in search of clues. After crunching all the data, they discovered that prostate cancers can be classified into a number of different groups based on their genetic makeup and patterns of gene activity, enabling them to predict which tumours are more likely to grow fast and need urgent treatment and which will take a more leisurely path. The programme can also identify treatments that are more likely to work for each individual patient, leading to more personalised therapy that could make a difference to survival.

Today is World Cancer Day 2019

Written by Kat Arney

  • Image by Niclas Blessing, UKE
  • Finsen Laboratory, Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen, Denmark and Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, and others in an international working group
  • Image copyright held by the original authors
  • Research published in Cancer Cell, December 2018

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