Around half of patients receive radiotherapy as part of their cancer treatment but the dose is limited by the possibility of causing side effects (toxicity) to the normal tissues and organs that surround the tumour. Some patients are more likely to experience these side effects than others: that is, there is an individual variation in tissue response. Some patients will be very sensitive.
Dr Catharine West, of the University's Cancer Studies research group, and Dr Neil Burnet, of the University of Cambridge, are leading a large multi-centre UK study designed to identify the common genetic variations that are associated with such side effects. The study - Radiogenomics: Assessment of Polymorphisms for Predicting the Effects of Radiotherapy (RAPPER) - is funded by Cancer Research UK and aims to extract DNA from the blood samples of 2,200 patients with a variety of cancers.Dr West explains: "This is a very exciting development in cancer research.
Dr West and her team are also involved in a study of patients with soft tissue sarcoma (cancer in the muscles), a rare cancer that accounts for approximately 1% of adult cancers with around 1,200 cases in the UK each year, again funded by Cancer Research UK.
VORTEX - led by Dr Martin Robinson at the University of Sheffield - is a randomised trial to assess if reducing post-operative radiotherapy in patients with soft tissue sarcoma (cancer of the muscle) increases their limb function without compromising the treatment. The Manchester team are using samples from VORTEX to carry out VORTEX-BIOBANK, a study that aims to develop a tumour profile that will identify patients with an increased likelihood of secondary cancer. The team also aims to investigate associations between common genetic variation and a patient's risk of radiation induced side-effects in this particular cancer, as they are doing for a variety of other cancers in RAPPER.
Miss Rebecca Elliott, who will make a presentation about the team's work at the conference today, says: "There is exciting high-throughput technology out there and we are looking at the possibility of individualising patient treatment. The technology allows us to look at the variation and expression of genes to see which genes indicate who will be sensitive to radiotherapy. In future we will have a patient profile - if you have certain versions of genes x, y and z, then you have the chance of getting toxicity one hundred times more than someone with other versions."
"Although we are still collecting samples and are some way off getting our final results, it is an important new pathway in cancer research."
Jon Keighren | alfa
Monitoring the heart's mitochondria to predict cardiac arrest?
21.09.2017 | Boston Children's Hospital
Highly precise wiring in the Cerebral Cortex
21.09.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Hirnforschung
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.
Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...
MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems Holding GmbH about commercial use of a multi-well tissue plate for automated and reliable tissue engineering & drug testing.
MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems...
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21.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
21.09.2017 | Life Sciences
21.09.2017 | Health and Medicine