sarahkeenihan

Day 263. Keeping up with medicine

In May 2013 on May 3, 2013 at 2:19 pm

hela

Back in March I wrote about how modern science – particularly understanding how particular faulty genes behave – is changing the way we think about cancer and its treatment.

Now there’s more evidence to support this idea.

Don’t panic, it’s already pre-digested: you can read about it here in this New York Times article by Gina Kolata.

The key points are:

  • In contrast to using the usual method of analysing cancer cells under the microscope, some cancers can now be classified based on their genes. Getting the classification right means that choosing an appropriate therapy is easier. 
  • Similarities in the genes of cancers which start in completely different organs – for example, breast, ovary and uterus – opens up the possibility that maybe some drugs used successfully to treat one kind of cancer may also work for other types of cancer; and
  • Better knowledge of which genes are faulty in a cancers may lead to the development of accurate tools for predicting the lethality of cancers, and making treatment decisions with this information in mind.

Medicine is changing fast.

[image of HeLa cancer cells thanks to gehealthcare on flickr]

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