London: Scientists have developed a newgenetic test for cancer, a major breakthrough which they claimcould allow doctors to identify the hidden primary tumours andpave the way for more effective treatment for the disease.A team at Imperial College London has come up with therevolutionary DNA test which will not only help patients avoidunnecessary treatment and invasive tests, but also ensure theyget the right drug treatment earlier.
Earlier researches have shown that it can take upto three months to get a cancer diagnosis by existing methods.and many scientists are currently working with patients withcancer of "unknown origin" that has spread.However, Dr Wasan said that in the future the new testcan be used for all patients, and will also minimise the riskof misdiagnosis which he believes happens in up to 15 per centof cancer patients."If tissue samples from a patient with cancerous cellsin the liver reveal the disease originated in the breast, theyshould be treated with drugs for breast, not liver cancer."Currently it can take weeks or months to identify thesource of the cancer in patients with advanced cancer that hasspread and for some, the primary tumour is so small that it isnever discovered," he said.Drugs that target specific blood, breast and coloncancer cells have already been developed and more than 500drugs which target all other cancers are on the way."We hope these technologies will increase thenumber of people that are cured. This concept of personalisedmedicine is the future of all cancer care," Dr Wasan said. PTI
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