Biomedical

New drug targets for cancer treatment. How close are we to more effective drugs in 2018

Cancer affects thousands of people and is a serious disease. If not diagnosed and treated in an early stage it can be fatal. 12% of men are diagnosed with prostate cancer and it accounts for 9% of male cancer deaths. While we call all cancers the same and the only thing we specify is the tissue affected, most of the times cancer is caused by different mutations on different genes. Some of those genes are mutated more often but this uncertainty on the cause of the disease makes drug development very hard.

This study did a lot of research on prostate cancer and the genes that cause it. 11 targets for approved drugs, 7 targets for investigational drugs and 62 targets if compounds that may become targets of future drugs. Those new targets may lead to the development of new drugs that may be more effective.

Reading this study i focused on the methods used. It must have been a very expensive study, and this is important. To sequence an individual’s genome the cost would be higher than anyone would be willing to pay and the results uncertain at this stage. This is why we can’t really determine which mutation each patient has very easily. Adding the fact that there are usually many mutations, the situation is hard.

This study though by identifying target genes can show us where to look based on other evidence, thus treating patients more directly, more personalized with less expensive methods.

Some of the genes found are the usual proto-oncogenes and tumour suppressor genes. Some of them we already knew can cause cancer but were not sure if they were involved in prostate cancer. A list of some of the genes found and reported are here: ERG, ETV1, ETV4, FLI1, SPOP, FOXA1 and IDH1. You can read more from the original article linked in the sources and follow Qul Mind for more.

Sources: Sequencing of prostate cancers identifies new cancer genes, routes of progression and drug targets.

Image: https://www.flickr.com/photos/shaury/2653833040

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