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CNIO researchers take part in the most comprehensive personalized medicine study performed to date
Date:3/17/2012

The Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO) routinely runs such tests on samples sent in from all over Spain. But analysing genes is just the first step towards a truly personalised medicine. And researchers are exploring new ways to analyse what goes on in each organism at a molecular scale: the genes that are being read or transcribed; the proteins being synthesised; the antibodies circulating through the bloodstream; and the length of the telomeres capping its chromosomes.

The goal is not to measure a determined set of proteins, as in standard blood tests, but all the thousands of proteins that the body expresses at any given moment.

The next question is whether it is feasible to extract useful medical information from this vast outpouring of data and, if not now, whether it may be in the future. And it is here that the group led by Michael Snyder, Director of the Center for Genomics and Personalised Medicine at Stanford University (United States) is directing its efforts, in collaboration with CNIO researchers and the company LifeLength a CNIO spin-off.

"Currently states of health and illness are measured through a limited number of tests, which analyse a small number of relevant markers", write the authors in the March 16 edition of Cell. "But with new technologies we are now able to analyse a hundred thousand molecular components".

To find out whether these analyses can contribute something useful, Snyder himself decided to take the test. First, his genome was subject to detailed scrutiny. And what showed up were a moderately high risk of suffering coronary disease and a significantly high risk of developing hypertriglyceridaemia, diabetes and basal cell carcinoma a kind of skin cancer that has a high cure rate if treated in time.

A large number of short telomeres

He was also found to have a mutation in the telomerase gene, the enzyme which stops telomeres from shortening each
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Contact: juanj.gomez
juanj.gomez@cnio.es
34-917-328-000-4060
Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Oncologicas (CNIO)
Source:Eurekalert  

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