Genetic analysis offers a solution to fight cancer. DNA microarray technology
DNA microchip technology offers an alternative treatment for resistant tumor and in almost half of the cases, life expectancy is extended by more than one year.
Gene studies give us hope for curing chemotherapy-resistant tumors. All this is due to the use of DNA microarray technology, or, in other words, genetic analysis of tumors, which allows to determine in a clear and direct way a series consisting of 5 to 8 medications that can be used in treating each specific case of the disease, as well as a list of medications in relation to which the tumor is resistant. The oncology platform of Quirónsalud Hospital, which is headed by Dr. Antonio Brugarolas, successfully applies this technology. At present, after studying specific cases of the disease, this technology can improve the prognosis for life expectancy and is one of the areas of work that bring us closer to the future.
The use of DNA microchip technology opens up new opportunities for cancer patients with metastases who have not previously been offered alternative treatments. This is an individual treatment method, called an optional treatment, one of the most important characteristics of which is to improve the quality of life of patients.
Dr. Brugarolas explains that this is an "advanced treatment method that has been tested on 80 patients aged 41 to 70 years who suffer from breast, lung, pancreas, colon and rectum, ovaries, stomach, liver, and having other types of tumors, including sarcoma "
This technology is an effective tool to find the most effective treatment for each patient. In other words, as Dr. Brugarolas points out, “genetic research serves to study the behavior of cancer genes, as well as the ways and mechanisms of tumor growth and resistance”
The type of chemotherapy chosen for these patients was simpler and less toxic than standard techniques and led to an improvement in the patient’s quality of life. According to Dr. Brugarolas, genetic research helps to select the type of chemotherapy and can be applied at earlier stages of the disease.
Genetic analysis of resistant tumors offers new ways of treatment
The experience gained during the work carried out under the leadership of Dr. Brugarolas indicates that this technology opens up new possibilities for the use of chemotherapeutic treatment for patients previously deprived of this opportunity, offering more effective and high-quality alternatives to the treatment being carried out.
For the patients included in the study, in each case, the most effective medication series was selected, comprising from 5 to 8 drugs, and a list of drugs was compiled, in relation to which the tumor is stable.
Drugs, selected in accordance with the results of genetic studies of the tumor, made it possible to achieve an improvement in 75 or 85 percent of the total number of patients who participated in the study. His results indicate that in approximately 50 percent of cases, a stabilization of the neoplastic process was observed, which meant stopping its development. Thus, in almost half of the cases, an increase in life expectancy of more than one year was achieved.
This is due to the fact that the use of specially selected types of chemotherapy can increase the life expectancy from 6 months to a year, while the use of standard chemotherapy in these cases extends life to three months.
What is this technology
From patient itn is taken a sample of fresh tumor tissue using a biopsy, then, after performing a genetic analysis of this sample, his genes are compared with the genes of healthy tissue that have the same origin, and those that are above or below the normal values are determined. Thus, the final conclusion suggests a list of genes for which the specialist determines the appropriate drugs. The patient is examined every three months, the results of which indicate the presence of changes confirming the reaction to the chemotherapy used.
The first question we have is the following: "When will this technology be distributed and put into widespread practice?" Dr. Brugarolas, responding to it, states the following: “The implementation of this process will be simplified in the near future. At present, structural requirements and techniques do not allow this technology to be distributed everywhere and applied to patients before the start of chemotherapy treatment. It is very difficult to find a specialist interested in the clinical application of this technology, which would also have information on molecular biology and would be familiar with all types of chemotherapy. DNA microarray technology is the joint work of a multidisciplinary team of experts "
The importance of this technology is beyond doubt. “Recently,” says Dr. Brugarolas, “there is considerable interest in the scientific world regarding new opportunities that are opening up for the treatment of oncological tumors using the drug-target interaction, since the effects of certain drugs can be directed to molecular changes, which are specific to each tumor, which makes it possible to use a treatment that matches the characteristics of each individual case "
At the same time, there are significant contradictions associated with the fact that in each individual case of cancer the number of altered genes can reach hundreds and it is very difficult to find a uniform repetitive pattern, which makes each tumor different from the others. This tumor idiosyncrasy has led to various discoveries in the field of the origin of cancer, mechanisms to prevent the onset of the disease, assess the hereditary predisposition, etc.
In general, DNA microchip technology can be considered as a way of developing oncology, allowing us to move forward in the fight against cancer and find new opportunities for the treatment of our patients.
Among 20.000 analyzed genes, the most attention is paid to those that are resistant to chemotherapeutic treatment, usually their number exceeds 200. An individual assessment of the genes of each patient is carried out, the duration of this process takes 5 days.
The final conclusion includes a list of two types of genes, then the specialist finds the correspondence of these genes to certain drugs.
Every three months, a list of genes is checked to update it and identify those genes whose propaedeutic value in relation to studying the reaction to chemotherapy is confirmed.
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