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Breast Cancer Update: Scientists Hail 'Milestone' Genetic Find For Cure

Update Date: May 04, 2016 06:07 AM EDT

A new research on breast cancer could be a possible game changer in the ongoing cure and impediment of the life-threatening affliction. The research from Cancer Research UK according to BBC News, involved an immense data of 560 individuals with breast cancer which included four men.

Director of the Sanger Institute in Cambridge, Prof. Sir Mike Stratton and his colleagues then took tissue samples in which they isolated those having a 70% tumor cells as an inclusion in their research. Gene sequencing and the influence of mutations and the various mutation degrees in the genes were inspected as well as genetic patterns that were linked to cancer of the breast. All of these were then measured up to the already available genetic patterns.

The professor pointed out, "There are about 20,000 genes in the human genome. It turns out, now we have this complete view of breast cancer - there are 93 of those [genes] that if mutated will convert a normal breast cell into a breast cancer cell. That is an important piece of information."

"We hand that list over to the universities, the pharmaceuticals, the biotech companies to start developing new drugs because those mutated genes and their proteins are targets for new therapeutics," he added. "There are now many drugs that have been developed over the last 15 years against such targets which we know work."

Targeted drugs such as Herceptin are already being used by patients with specific mutations. Prof Stratton expects new drugs will still take at least a decade to reach patients and warns, "Cancers are devious beasts and they work out ways of developing resistance to new therapeutics so overall I'm optimistic, but it's a tempered optimism."

It's hoped that the study will lead to more personalised treatments for breast cancer, similar to drugs used for other DNA mutations that are already known. 

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