ISLAMABAD: Using publicly available data, researchers have identified 10 new genes that are predisposed to cancer among others, an advance that would contribute to improving cancer diagnoses and prevention in the future.
There are many genetic causes of cancer. While some mutations are inherited from parents, others are acquired all throughout life due to external factors or due to mistakes in copying DNA. In the study, published in Nature Communications, a team of researchers developed a new statistical method named ALFRED and identified 13 candidate cancer predisposition genes, of which 10 are new from tumour sequencing data.
“We applied our method to the genome sequences of more than 10,000 cancer patients with 30 different tumour types and identified known and new possible cancer predisposition genes that have the potential to contribute substantially to cancer risk,” said principal investigator Ben Lehner, ICREA – Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies in Spain. “Our computational method uses an old idea that cancer genes often require ‘two hits’ before they cause cancer.
We developed a method that allows us to systematically identify these genes from existing cancer genome datasets,” said Solip Park, from the Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG) – a Barcelona-based research facility. For the study, the team combined data from many different projects and by applying a new computational method, were able to identify important cancer genes that were not identified by the original studies.
Relevant pieces published earlier:
i) According to a new report on cancer treatments that attack tumors based on their individual genetic traits – not their location in the body – far outperform traditional methods, extending survival for twice as many patients. The precision medicine field of targeted therapy involves testing tumors for clues about their genetic mutations, and matching patients with new drugs designed to block cancer’s growth on a molecular level. Researchers in Texas began studying the impact of these therapies in 2007, after seeing the success of Gleevec (imatinib) – a breakthrough drug approved by US regulators in 2001 that showed huge success against chronic myeloid leukemia. The results of the first and largest precision medicine trial to look at survival across a host of cancer types and many different targeted therapies were released at the American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting in Chicago, the world’s largest annual cancer meeting. The study, called IMPACT, enrolled 3,743 patients at Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center from 2007 to 2013. All the patients had advanced cancers, or “end-stage disease,” involving cancers of the gastrointestinal tract, breast, or lung. Melanoma and cancer of the female reproductive tract were also included, along with more rare types of cancer. Those enrolled had typically tried at least four – and sometimes up to 16 – other treatments that failed to halt the growth of their cancer. Patients who received molecularly targeted therapies either got an investigational drug then being tested in a clinical trial or an FDA-approved targeted therapy commercially approved for another indication.
ii) Consumption of broccoli has long been linked to innumerable health boons. Considering this, savants have further claimed that it could fend off Type 2 Diabetes (T2D). As per their findings, ingesting its extracts could potentially assist people suffering from T2D to control over their blood sugar levels. This magical veggie is stuffed with vitamins, fiber, and disease-combating phytochemicals, which may help overturn the disease symptoms. So as to prove this, scholars have given concentrated broccoli sprout extracts to some 97 participants with T2D for around 12 weeks. Their findings demonstrated that those, who had dysregulated disease, have been reported with considerably reduced fasting blood glucose levels and glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) when compared to others. Apart from this, a couple of previous researches have shown that broccoli has the potential to decrease cholesterol levels. Also, its daily consumption might make your bones stronger, detoxify your body and maintain the digestive system and vision. Not to mention that broccoli could oust the expansion of lethal cancer cells. According to the statistics, around 450 million folks come up in T2D across the globe. Regrettably, more than 15 percent of those patients cannot receive the first-line cure metformin due to kidney damage hazards. Journal Science Translational Medicine has published their ramifications. (23rd of June, 201
Implant helps paralyzed man walk again
PARIS: Five years after he was paralyzed in a snowmobile accident, a man in the US has learned to walk again aided by an electrical implant, in a potential breakthrough for spinal injury sufferers.
A team of doctors at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota say the man, using a front-wheeled walker, was able to cover the equivalent of the length of a football pitch, issuing commands from his brain to transfer weight and maintain balance – all previously thought impossible for paralyzed patients.
The man, now 29, severed his spinal cord in the middle of his back when he crashed his snowmobile in 2013. He is completely paralysed from the waist down, and cannot move or feel anything below the middle of his torso.
In the study, the results of which were published on Monday in the journal Nature Medicine, doctors in 2016 implanted a small electronic device in the man’s spine.
The wirelessly operated implant, about the size of a AA battery, generates electrical pulses to stimulate nerves that – due to the injury – had been permanently disconnected from the brain.
“What this is teaching us is that those networks of neurons below a spinal cord injury can still function after paralysis,” said Kendall Lee, neurosurgeon at the Mayo Clinic and lead study author.
Within weeks of the device being switched on, the man began to take his first steps since the accident – but was still suspended in a harness.
Astonishingly, after several more sessions of rehab and physiotherapy, he was able to support most of his own body weight and take steps on a treadmill.
“We didn’t limit our expectations and continued to safely advance his performance as he gained function,” Kristin Zhao, director of the Mayo Clinic’s Assistive and Restorative Technology Laboratory, told the Media.
“This is important because the patient’s own mind was able to drive the movement in the legs,” she said. Although the device was able to help generate power and control in the patient’s lower body, it did nothing to restore sensation in his legs.
This initially proved challenging. Without the physical feeling of walking registering in his brain, it was hard for him to make the instantaneous balance adjustments most of us make without thinking.
The team overcame the problem by installing mirrors at knee height so the patient could see what position his legs were in while walking.
Eventually the man was able to walk on the treadmill with only periodic glances down at his legs.
Footage of the experiment shows him walking jerkily on a slow-moving treadmill, using a metal rail for balance.
While the device’s effect is remarkable, the man is still paralysed once it is turned off.
“It is important to understand that even with the success that this individual had in stepping ability during the research, he still performs his daily activities from a wheelchair,” Lee told AFP.
In 2011, electrodes implanted on the lower spine of a paraplegic man allowed him to stand and regain some movement in his legs, but the team believes this is the first instance an implant has been used to get a paralysed person to walk.
For safety reasons, the patient currently only uses the device under supervision, but the implications of the study — that paralysis may not be permanent after severe spinal injury — could be massive.
“Our results, combined with prior evidence, emphasise the need to reassess our current understandings of spinal cord injury in order to realise the potential of emerging technologies for functional recovery once thought to be permanently lost,” Lee said.
The study was conducted in conjunction with the University of California Los Angeles and was partly funded by the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation.
Christopher Reeve, best known for starring role in the “Superman” film, was left paraplegic after a horse-riding accident in 1995.
Obesity will become the biggest cause of cancer!
ISLAMABAD: Obesity is set to overtake smoking as the biggest preventable cause of cancer in UK women by 2043, a Cancer Research UK report predicts.
Currently, 12% of cancers in women are linked to smoking, and 7% to being overweight and obese. But with the number of smokers falling and obesity rates projected to rise, the charity estimates that gap will disappear in 25 years time, BBC News reported. The figures assume that current trends will continue. Cancer Research UK’s projections calculate that by 2035, 10% of cancers in women (around 25,000 cases) could be related to smoking and 9% (around 23,000 cases) to carrying excess weight. And by 2043, if those trends continued, being overweight and obese could be linked to even more cases of cancer than smoking in women.
In UK men, obesity is not predicted to overtake smoking as a preventable cause of cancer until some time later, because more men than women smoke. Although obesity is more common among men too, obesity in women is thought to be a greater driver of cancers in the female population. The report says types of cancer linked to smoking include acute myeloid leukemia, lung, bladder, bowel, cervical, pancreatic and stomach. Cancers linked to being overweight or obese include bowel, gallbladder, kidney, liver, breast, ovarian and thyroid.
Professor Linda Bauld, Cancer Research UK’s prevention expert, said the government must build on the lessons of smoking prevention to reduce the number of weight-related cancers. She said those who were overweight in childhood were five times more likely to be carrying excess weight as an adult. “That’s why we are raising awareness of the link between cancer and obesity and calling for measures to protect children, like a ban on junk food adverts before 9 pm and for restrictions on price promotions of ‘less healthy’ products,” Prof Bauld said. She said the decline in smoking was a cause for celebration.
“It shows how decades of effort to raise awareness about the health risks plus strong political action including taxation, removing tobacco marketing and a ban on smoking in indoor public places, have paid off. “But, just as there is still more to do to support people to quit smoking, we also need to act now to halt the tide of weight-related cancers and ensure this projection never becomes a reality.”
President commences anti-polio campaign!
ISLAMABAD: President of Pakistan Dr. Arif Alvi has inaugurated the anti-polio campaign by administrating drops to a child here today.
In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa today Provincial Health Department said more than six point six million children up to five years of age will be administered anti-polio drops during the campaign.
An enormous number of teams has been constituted to visit door to door to ensure administering anti-polio drops to the children. Polio teams will also be available at railway stations, bus stands, and other public places. Special security measures have been taken for the security of polio teams.
In Bahawalpur, a total of 650,503 children under the age of 5 years would be administered anti-Polio drops in Bahawalpur district during the Anti-Polio campaign. According to Chief Executive Officer District Health Authority Bahawalpur Dr. Fayyaz Anwar, children would also be given capsules to overcome the deficiency of Vitamin-A which causes diseases including measles and polio. Some 3048 personnel will perform duties in 1401 teams including 1180 mobile teams, 161 fixed teams, and 123 transit teams. Besides, 18 roaming teams will perform duties at main markets of the city.