News

AddToAny

Google+ Facebook Twitter Twitter

"Genome sequencing accelerates cancer detection"

A statistical model has been developed that uses genomic data to accurately predict whether a patient with Barrett’s oesophagus has a high or low risk of developing cancer.

Researchers at the University of Cambridge, EMBL’s European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI), and collaborators sequenced genomes from biopsies routinely collected from patients with Barrett’s oesophagus. These patients are monitored for early signs of oesophageal cancer.

The researchers used the data to look for differences between patients who were ultimately diagnosed with cancer and those who were not.

The data were used to develop a statistical model measuring each patient’s individual risk.

Other recent cancer studies have shown that genomic mutations leading to cancer may occur many years before a patient is diagnosed with the disease. Being able to identify these mutations could provide a new route to early diagnosis and treatment.

Using genomic data from 88 patients with Barrett’s oesophagus, the researchers identified half of the patients who were diagnosed with oesophageal cancer as “high risk” more than eight years before diagnosis.

The numbers went up to 70% two years before diagnosis. Equally important, the model also accurately predicted patients who were at a very low risk of developing cancer.  

go.nature.com/35fdz87


Picture Credit | iStock

 

Related Articles

Uncovering order in cancer's chromosomal chaos

Researchers at the Francis Crick Institute and the UCL Cancer Institute have identified how different cancers go through some of the same genetic mutations at the same point in their evolution.

British Journal of Biomedical Science: Issue 3 2020 - a synopsis

Deputy Editor Guy Orchard provides a brief glimpse of the articles on offer in the third issue of the year.

Blood test for Alzheimer's

A blood test could spot Alzheimer’s disease at the earliest stage and years before symptoms appear, new studies indicate.

The organisation that delivers

After years of frustration, people are finally starting to understand the value of biomedical scientists.

Top