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Research Could Lead to Targeted Cancer Treatment

Swedish medical researchers have discovered a method for distinguishing between the most serious pediatric cancer cases and those that are less aggressive.

About 20 percent of  Swedish and Norwegian children diagnosed with cancer die of the disease. Oncologists have found  it difficult to predict which children will improve and which will suffer a recurrence after treatment.

The researchers from Sweden’s Lund University, Uppsala University, and the Karolinska Institute have confirmed that malignant tumors in children are genetically unstable –just as they are in adults. The greater the variation between the cancer cells – intratumoral genome diversity – the more malignant the cancer.

This discovery will make it easier for doctors to sample and test tissue from individual patients. Currently numerous samples are taken from each tumor. This study indicates that one small sample is enough to reveal whether the cancer has reoccured and whether it is likely to spread. The test will also indicate how strong a child’s chemotherapy treatment needs to be.

Source:  Science Nordic