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NEW THERAPY: Will chemotherapy be rendered obsolete in 20 years' time?

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
8/1/2014 (3 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

DNA of healthy and tumor cells will be mapped to help transform treatment

Chemotherapy is regime that many cancer patients undergo. Many feel that the cure is at times worse than the disease: Weeks of nausea, fatigue, pain and disorientation. Now, drugs that target cancer without harming healthy cells that trigger harmful side effects could be a reality in 20 years, claim British scientists.

Genome sequencing will help drug companies design medicines that can successfully target the tumor, according to Professor Jeremy Farrar, director of the Wellcome Trust, which is part of the project.

Genome sequencing will help drug companies design medicines that can successfully target the tumor, according to Professor Jeremy Farrar, director of the Wellcome Trust, which is part of the project.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
8/1/2014 (3 years ago)

Published in Health

Keywords: Cheomtherapy, cancer, tumors, Wellcome Trust


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - A landmark project is underway to study 100,000 complete DNA code sequences. The goal is to transform the treatment of cancer and rare diseases, rendering chemotherapy obsolete in 20 years.

Prime Minister David Cameron says the study will make Britain the world leader in genetic research. Cameron announced a package of deals worth Ł300 million to carry out the work, expected to be completed by 2017.

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About 75,000 patients with cancer and rare diseases, plus their close relatives, will have their whole genetic codes, or genomes, sequenced over the next four years. Cancer patients will have the DNA of both healthy and tumor cells mapped, making up the 100,000 total.

The project is expected to be pivotal to the development of personalized treatments based on genetics. Scientists are looking for tiny changes in the genetic code that can trigger disease or affect its progress.

Genome sequencing will help drug companies design medicines that can successfully target the tumor. Healthy tissue will be unharmed, side effects such as hair loss will be banished, and many patients will be spared the ordeal of treatment that doesn't work, according to Professor Jeremy Farrar, director of the Wellcome Trust, which is part of the project, said.

"It's actually happening now, in small ways. If you go into a hospital with lung cancer, for instance, that cancer will be sequenced.

"Twenty years from now academics and industry will have developed therapies which will be targeted at you and specific forms of cancer.

"We will look back in 20 years' time and the blockbuster chemotherapy drugs that gave you all those nasty side effects will be a thing of the past."

Nothing on the scale of the 100,000 Genomes Project has been attempted anywhere before and other countries are watching the U.K.'s progress, say academics behind the project.

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