The landmark study that was published in the journal Nature which was conducted by various teams of doctors from 37 countries. This study ‘Pan-Cancer Analysis of Whole Genomes Consortium’ took more than a decade to reach conclusions about the treatment of different types of cancer. This study of 22 scientific journal papers provides complete pictures of all cancers, which could help the doctors and scientists to create treatments according to the unique tumors of different patients.
Cancer is a corrupted version of our own healthy cells – mutations to our DNA change our cells until eventually they grow and divide uncontrollably. Most of our understanding of this process comes from the sets of genetic instructions for building the body’s proteins. These complete pictures of all types of cancer show that cancer is complex and contains thousand of mutations that cause cancers. This research explained that cancers contain about five-four fundamental mutations on average that boost up cancer’s growth. These can be considered as weak spots and can be exploited with treatments that attack these “driver mutations”. But 5% of cancers appear to not have such driver mutations and more have to be done to analyse these types.
Dr. Peter Van Loo from the Francis Crick Institute said,” We’ve developed the first timelines of genetic mutations across the spectrum of cancer types and unlocking these patterns means it should now be possible to develop new diagnostic tests, that pick up signs of cancer much earlier.” The most challenging thing will be to discover which among these mutations will proceed to become cancer cells and which of them can be safely ignored.