While fighting cancer, it is important to know the genomic profile of the tumor rather than knowing where it has occurred in the body and how much its grown, state the researchers.
In a study, in which more than 3,000 tumor specimens were analyzed of 12 different types of cancers, it was concluded that improved therapies can be offered to ten percent of cancer patients if better information can be availed by doctors with regards to the DNA of a particular tumor and its exact expression.
With analysis of the genetics, doctors can get “Clinically relevant prognostic information, apart from the stage of tumor as well as its primary tissue of origin”
Till now, the classification of cancer is done as per its origin in the body. For example, the cells that grow in the lungs are “lung cancer” and those that grow in the pancreas or stomach are “Stomach cancer”.
Now, it has been suggested by researchers that one should think of cancer from the molecular and genetic characteristics rather than just a broad “location” classification.
Better future treatments are possible if the kind of cell that causes cancer is identified instead of just fixating on the tissues in the body, where it originated.
In this study, a mathematical technique was utilized for grouping tumors on the basis of genomic similarities and it was found that only 5 from the found cancers matched with the traditional categorizations based on organ or tissue of origin.
The rest were capable of affecting more than 1 kind of tissue and thus, wouldn’t match the “origin” classification system.
With this genomic study, not only the existing system of cancer classification is challenged, but massive new data is provided for further exploration.