New Findings Can lead to Good News For Cancer Research, Prevention And Treatment


Researchers released some pretty incredible findings a week ago about cancer. In a multiple institute study including researchers and authors from the University of California at Santa Cruz (UCSC), the Buck Institute for Research on Aging, the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF), the University of New york, Chapel Hill (UNC), and also the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT looked closely at just how cancers are classified. The study belongs to the Pan-Cancer Initiative of the Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA).

According to some statement in the UCSC, at present “Cancers are sorted primarily on the foundation of whereby the body the disease originates.” This means that cancers are sorted in line with the tissue: breast, lung, bladder, colon, etc. However, they found what they believe is a better way to classify cancers: based on cell type not only tissue type.

According towards the Buck Institute for Research on Aging, “Scientists analyzed the DNA, RNA and protein from 12 different tumor types using six different TCGA “platform technologies” to determine the way the different tumor types rival one another. The study showed that cancers may be molecularly and genetically similar based on their cell type of origin instead of their tissue kind of origin (e.g. breast, kidney, bladder, etc.).”

Based on these bits of information, they believe a minimum of 10 % of cancer patients would have their cancer reclassified. As UCSF highlights, that means one out of every 10 cancer patients would have their cancers better diagnosed.

Reclassification means that these patients would likely receive different and more accurate treatment thus hopefully leading to a higher likelihood of survival and remission. These findings could also result in future research on cancer treatments to find more accurate medications and operations based on news from UNC.

As UCSC explains, to find all this, “The research team used statistical analyses from the molecular data to split the tumors into groups or “clusters,” first analyzing the data from each platform separately after which combining them in an integrated cross-platform analysis-All six platforms as well as the integrated analysis converged on a single divisions from the cancers into 11 major subtypes. Five of these subtypes were nearly identical to their tissue-of-origin counterparts. But some tissue-of-origin categories split into several different molecular subtypes, plus some subtypes encompass tumors with a number of different tissues of origin.”

Specifically, the research researchers identified breast and bladder cancers as two areas where they found that the greater cell-specific classification was more appropriate and accurate than the tissue-specific classification. UNC explained that in cancer of the breast, the breast is an extremely complex organ with numerous cell types, which obviously leads to a variety of cancers of the breast: luminal, HER2-enriched, and basal-like. The Mayo Clinic defines the differences in these three kinds of cancers of the breast. First, though, you should comprehend the hormone status of cancer of the breast.

In breast cancer, a kind might be estrogen receptor (ER) positive, progesterone positive (PR) positive, or hormone receptor (HR) negative. ER positive refers to a type of cancer of the breast that’s responsive to estrogen whereas PR positive means that type is sensitive to progesterone while HR? negative refers to the fact that type of cancer doesn’t have hormone receptors as a result it will not be affected by treatments concentrating on blocking hormones. Additionally, breast cancers think about the genetic makeup of cancer of the breast. People with a lot of copies from the HER-2 gene have too a lot of the growth-promoting protein HER-2, so treatments concentrate on slowing and killing these cancer cells.

To that end, luminal breast cancers can be ER positive, PR positive but HER-2 negative (called luminal A breast cancer) or ER positive, PR negative, and HER-2 positive (called luminal B cancer of the breast). HER2-enriched cancers are ER negative, PR negative, but HER-2 positive. And the basal-like cancers are ER, PR, and HER-2 negative. Basal-like cancers will also be called triple-negative breast cancer. It is the basal-like breast cancers in which the researchers found that a far more accurate method of classifying them is via cell origin instead of tissue origin since the basal-like breast cancers looked more like ovarian cancer and cancers of the squamous-cell (skin) type.

Although breast cancer shows the clearest indicators supporting the idea that cancers can and should be classified by both tissue and cell type, other cancers supported this as well, namely bladder cancer. UCSC explains that bladder cancer split up into three subtypes according to cell-origin classification: bladder cancer only, bladder cancers that clustered with lung adenocarcinomas, and bladder cancers that were squamous-like cancers.

In continuing research, these five institutes will broaden samples from tumors in the 12 tumor types utilized in this study to 21 tumor types. All expect more cancers will be reclassified.

Not only does this study give greater understanding to cancers, however it can and likely will result in better treatments. More hopefully, this research and people who follow could also lead to better cancer prevention.

According to UCSC, the job was performed as part of the UCSC-Buck Institute Genome Data Analysis Center for the TCGA project led by Stuart, Benz, and David Haussler, director from the UC Santa Cruz Genomics Institute. The related authors from the paper are Stuart, Benz, and Charles Perou from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. The co-first authors are Katherine Hoadley of UNC; Christina Yau of the Buck Institute; Denise Wolf of UCSF; and Andrew Cherniack of the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT. Stuart’s graduated pupils Sam Ng and Vladislav Uzunangelov also made significant contributions to the analysis.

Results of the research were published August 7 in the journal Cell.