Learning which genetic changes predict greatest risk of canc
Oncologists face a dual epidemic of overtreatment and undertreatment. Treating the disease often involves harsh chemotherapies and other interventions with extensive side effects. As a result, clinicians might delay treating a growth that looks harmless until it becomes life threatening and too late to treat. Or, they might overly treat a less aggressive cancer with harsh therapies that cause more harm to the patient than benefit.

Researchers conducted a study analyzing the molecular features of 33 different human cancers in an effort to find a way to differentiate between non-threatening and aggressive forms of the disease.

The project recruited 10,884 patients with 33 different types of cancer and performed molecular profiling on the tumors from these patients. They analyzed data including the tumors' gene expression, mutations, copy number alterations, DNA methylation, microRNA expression, and protein expression. Additionally, they collected information on the patients' clinical course—whether they survived a few months or many years after surgery.

One surprising finding is that mutations conveyed relatively little information, but other types of genomic measurements from cancer, in particular copy number measurements, contained a lot of prognostic information.

Source: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2211124722003138?via=ihub
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