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Knowing about genetic tests for targeted cancer therapy

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Genetic test for targeted cancer therapy detects mutations ( i.e. changes) in the DNA of cancer cells.Getting well that whether the cancer has a particular mutation or not what can help in guiding the type of treatment that one receives. The absence or presence of certain mutations can predict who may get advantages from certain drugs & who is likely to not likely to respond.

Cancer is actually the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells. Lots factors may contribute to such uncontrolled growth. One of such factors is the malfunctioning of proteins which are involved in controlling cell growth & maturation. The proteins often malfunction as a result of a mutation in DNA of gene which codes for that protein. Few of mutations may result in a defective protein that can not stop such cell growth while other mutations produce a protein which effects and changes function that stimulates cell growth. Thus, the net result is unchecked growth & division of these abnormal cells (cancer).

Medical researches have long studied such changes in genes to cancer more & to develop drugs to fight it. Their goals have been to coin such drugs that disrupt a specific step in cancer growth, while doing minimal harm/damage to normal cells. They are called targeted drugs, also know as targeted therapy. What researches have stated is that particular types of cancer are frequently associated with particular genetic mutations. Not each cancer will have them, but a significant percentage will, & cancers with these mutations often have a more predictable response to certain drug treatments as compared to cancers without such mutations. These researches have led to 2 very important developments:

1):- Cancer drugs which inhibit or target very particular proteins associated with some cancers. (Two examples of this are tyro sine kinase inhibitors & EGFR – epidermal growth factor receptor – antibodies.)

2):- Genetic testing is done to detect the presence of mutations in cancer tissue which tells a doctor whether one being tested is likely to benefit from a particular therapy or what to do.

Medical researches continue to explore genetics of cancer & to look for opportunities to develop some new therapies. Furthermore, few of cancers eventually stop responding to certain therapies & develop resistance to that therapy. Genetic researches may offer insights into how resistance to such therapy occurs.

Why is this testing necessary?

Standard treatment for cancer often involves surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy  or some kind of combination of all of these these. Treatment done with chemotherapy drugs & radiation aims to slow growth of cancer, stop it from spreading, & kill any cancerous cells which have spread to any other parts of the body (metastasized). These three treatments for cancer are common whuch we all know. But there is also another treatment… Targeted therapy is a new kind of cancer treatment which offers doctors & their patients the chance to use a drug which has a greater effect on cancerous tissue, decreasing lots of the side effects associated with standard therapy. It’s based on the reality that the genetic makeup of the cancer cells is totally opposite than the normal cells around them. This therapy aims to disrupt specific steps and processes which are somewhat new to the growth of the cancer cells. Testing cancer cells biopsied from patients before to initiating drug therapy to find that the cancer’s likely response to particular cancer drugs is key emerging area of testing. But these targeted cancer drugs are bit expensive, & they generally just work in patients whose cancer has genetic makeup that they’ve been developed to work against. Genetic testing before to beginning therapy is very important to match the treatment up with patients & cancers likely to be get benefited from them.

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