5. Findings from the study have also deepened our basic understanding of how cancer develops. Prof Rozen said "A poorly-understood question in cancer research is whether different carcinogens, applied to the same cancer type, will cause disruptions in the same sets of genes, or if different carcinogens will cause different type of genes to be disrupted".
6. The team reasoned that CCAs could be used to answer these questions, as these cancers are caused by different carcinogenic exposure in different parts of the world. They found that while CCAs from Thailand, Singapore and Romania appeared very similar under the conventional microscope, at the molecular level they were in fact very different. This provides one of the first key pieces of evidence that different types of carcinogen exposures, although acting on the same type of tissue, are associated with disruptions in different sets of genes. Such findings have practical applications as well. Prof Tan said "Based on these results, it may be possible to investigate a patient's cancer and by looking at the types of disrupted genes, infer what caused the cancer." Such information would have major implications for cancer prevention efforts.
7. This most recent work is the latest in a series of high-profile papers from the Singapore team applying genomic analysis to cancers prevalent in Asia. In August, the same team reported their findings on a specific type of urinary tract cancer prevalent in Taiwan, which was caused by a carcinogen found in certain herbal remedies.
Invitation to join leading International Cancer Genome Consortium
8. The success of the team has not gone unnoticed by the intern
|Contact: Rachel Tan|