Biological signatures of mutated cells could be the key to tracing the origin of cancer in patients

A new tool, currently in development by researchers at Stanford University, can detect fatty acids produced by mutated cancer cells. These fatty acids are produced via the reassembling of glucose and glutamine that has been ingested. The metabolism of these molecules are regulated in normal cells via proto-oncogenes; genes which code for proteins that help to regulate cell growth and differentiation. Mutated proto-oncogenes are called oncogenes, and these cause an increase the amount of glucose and glutamine metabolised, and subsequently have the capability to cause cancer.

In the study, Dr. Eberlin and her colleagues focused on MYC, an oncogene which is known to cause approximately half of all human cancers. The researchers used a variety of sophisticated tools to look at patterns in fatty acid production in samples of MYC-induced lymphoma animal tissue.

The astonishing result was that 86 fatty acid molecules were successfully traced back and associated with the MYC oncogene.
The new tool has brilliant potential for helping doctors decide which course of treatment would be the most effective for individual patients, and is a big leap in modern cancer research.

To see the paper by Livia. S. Eberlin et al, click [here]

 

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