Saturday 24 February 2018

New DNA test a revolution in treatment of cancer

(Stock photo)
(Stock photo)

Laura Donnelly

A revolutionary approach to treating cancer that uses DNA tests can shrink tumours at six times the rate of existing medicine, new trials reveal.

Experts said "precision medicine" was "the most exciting thing since chemotherapy" and in the future patients could be saved by €250 gene tests.

The new approach treats patients using targeted gene sequencing or their whole genetic profile.

Experts said treatment on the basis of DNA tests could become the norm within five years. For example, one in three women in Britain who undergoes gruelling rounds of chemotherapy could be spared the process.

The findings, presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting in Chicago, come from 13,000 patients in 346 early-stage clinical trials.

Researchers for the landmark study, by the University of California San Diego School of Medicine's Centre for Personalised Cancer Therapy, found that tumours in patients who received targeted treatments had shrinkage rates of 30.6pc, compared with 4.9pc in those who did not.

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