Gene find push in cancer fight

In what could prove to be a major breakthrough, a group of researchers from the city claim to have identified genes that indicate if abreast cancer patient could be resistant to chemotherapy.


Presence of mutated breast cancer associated genes or BRCA 1 and 2 means the disease will respond better to conventional treatment which includes chemotherapy, the scientists have established in a paper published in the prestigious international journal 'Breast International Group' (BIG). While 98% of the carriers of BRCA 1 and 2 respond to chemotherapy, not more than 60% of those who contract breast cancer due to other factors respond to it, the study has revealed.



Significantly, the research has also claimed that Kolkata and the eastern region have more carriers of the genes than the rest of the country. "All women have both the genes. Breast cancer is triggered when they mutate and take on a virulent form. It could be due to lifestyle reasons, pollution or drugs. The tendency of the BRCA 1 and 2 to mutate is genetic. So, if the mother or the grandmother had breast cancer due to them, the daughters of the family need to be careful," said Abhijit Chakraborty, a member of the research team that also had Sudeshna Gangopadhyay, Jayasri Basak and Ashish Mukhopadhyay.



The research says that all breast cancer patients need to undergo a test to detect the presence of the genes. In case they are not present, patients need to be cautious for chemotherapy is likely to be less effective for them. "This could even cost lives," said Mukhopadhyay.



While mutation of the BRCA 1 is more common, that of BRCA 2 is rare. But the latter could trigger both breast and ovarian cancer. "It's an important finding and will help provide a better guidance for treatment," said oncologist Gautam Mukhopadhyay.



Other than the BRCA genes, breast cancer is also contracted through estrogen, progesterone and HER receptor. If detected in stage I, it could be cured in 80% of the cases. However, at least 10% of patients suffer a relapse.



"Early detection minimizes chances of a relapse. But the mortality rate also depends on the aggressiveness of the disease. There are cases when breast cancer turns extremely virulent from stage I and it becomes difficult to contain it," added Gautam Mukhopadhyay.



The researchers came to the conclusion after observing more than 100 breast cancer patients over a period of two years. All of them were out through chemotherapy. While some responded well to the treatment, a few didn't. "It led us to further enquire into the reasons and we chanced upon the fact that carriers of the BRCA genes responded better to chemotherapy," said Chakraborty. The paper will be presented at a San Diego conference in March.



Genes that indicate if a breast cancer patient could be resistant to chemotherapy have been identified, claims a group of Kolkata researchers. Presence of mutated breast cancer associated genes or BRCA 1 and 2 means the disease will respond better to conventional treatment which includes chemotherapy, the scientists have established in a paper that has been published in the prestigious international journal Breast International Group (BIG). While 98% of the carriers of BRCA 1 and 2 respond to chemotherapy, not more than 60% of those who contract breast cancer due to other factors respond to it, the study has revealed.



Significantly, the research has also claimed that Kolkata and the eastern region have more carriers of the genes than the rest of the country. Every year more than 1.25 lakh contract breast cancer in India, including 14,000 in West Bengal. "All women have both the genes. Breast cancer is triggered when they mutate and take on a virulent form. It could be due to lifestyle reasons, pollution or drugs. The tendency of the BRCA 1 and 2 to mutate is genetic. So, if the mother or the grandmother had breast cancer due to them, the daughters of the family need to be careful," said Abhijit Chakraborty, a member of the research team that also had Sudeshna Gangopadhyay, Jayasri Basak and Ashish Mukhopadhyay.



The research says that all breast cancer patients need to undergo a test to detect the presence of the genes. In case they are not present, patients need to be cautious for chemotherapy is likely to be less effective for them. "This could even cost lives and it has been responsible for deaths," said Mukhopadhyay.



While mutation of the BRCA 1 is more common, that of BRCA 2 is rare. But the latter could trigger both breast and ovarian cancer. "It's an important finding and will help provide a better guidance for treatment," said Gautam Mukhopadhyay, oncologist



Other than the BRCA genes, breast cancer is also contracted through estrogen receptor, progesterone receptor and HER receptor. If detected in stage I, breast cancer could be cured in 80% of the cases. At least 10% of patients, however, suffer a relapse. "Early detection minimizes the chances of a relapse. But the mortality rate also depends on the aggressiveness of the diseases. There are cases when breast cancer turns extremely virulent from stage I and it becomes difficult to contain it," said Gautam Mukhopadhyay.



The researchers observed more than 100 breast cancer patients over a period of two years. All of them were out through chemotherapy. While some responded well to the treatment, a few didn't. "It led us to further enquire into the reasons and we chanced upon the fact that carriers if the BRCA genes responded better to chemotherapy," said Chakraborty.



The paper will be presented at a San Diego conference in March.

Popular posts from this blog

PG Doctors of India must work not more than 48 Hr/week: SC

Indian Media in Bed with Politicans

Best PG Entrance Coaching - Opinion Poll Results