Researchers in the United Kingdom have found a number of “blind spots” in human DNA which are capable of hiding cancer causing genes. The research has been published in the journal cancer research.
The team discovered that by looking at the genetic origins of cancer, they could find more genes that triggered and developed the disease. Some genetic faults are difficult for gene-reading technology to understand, so researchers needed to fine tune the genes to examine.
One of the advantages of knowing which genes can cause cancer is earlier testing. In the future we may be able to perform genetic tests that identify which cancers you are at risk of getting. The tests may become very precise and be able to determine with great certainty if you are going to get a specific cancer.
The research team compared two massive gene databases which recorded genes found in cancer cells. This was compared to all of the genes in the human body to find potential cancer links. In many cases the link was not obvious and they had to look for genes that concealed the role of other genes.
Understanding the genetic foundation behind cancer is one of the most exciting areas of research because it affects diagnosis and potential treatment methods.