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New method to show cancer genes in microscope


Researchers at Uppsala University have developed a new method to visualize gene damages that cause cancer.

The method can be used to understand the development of cancer and improve future cancer diagnostics. The results of the study have been presented online in the Journal of Pathology.

Gene mutations are the cause of cancer development. There is thus a great need of methods that can visualize mutated cancer genes in cells or tissues. The researchers at Uppsala University have worked on the further development of technology to see several types of gene damages simultaneously.

”We chose to study a gene mutation that exists in approximately half of all patients with prostate cancer. We have been able to visualize different fusion variants and mutations, which revealed distinct patterns in the various tumors,” says Sara Kiflemariam, main author of the study.

The method enables simultaneous visualization of mutation in other genes that are often affected during prostate cancer (AMACR, AR, TP53 and TMPRSS2-ERG).

“With this technology we can see several common mutations in cancer tissue at the same time. It can help us understand tumor development and the differences between different areas in one tumor,” said Tobias Sjöblom, in charge of the study.