Saturday, January 30, 2010

Researchers at UCLA sequence a human brain cancer genome

Researchers at UCLA have unraveled the complete genome of the U87 human malignant glioma cell line. This cell line is used in virtually every lab studying gliomas, including ours.

The first breakthrough is technology. UCLA basically repeated the Human Genome Project 50 times faster and at least a thousand times cheaper.  This means that sequencing an individual patient's cancer is achieveable and foreseeable.

The second breakthrough regards diagnosis. In addition to looking at cells and tissues under the microscope, we will be able to look at the DNA and know if the biopsy contains tumor tissue or scar tissue resulting from treatment.

The third breakthrough regards treatment. By knowing every mutation that occurs in a cancer cell, we can develop never before thought of targeted treatments.

Kudos to UCLA for showing us that technology doesn't always have to trump reason.

No comments: