A new cancer classification system that supports the idea of personalized medicine has been found as a result of a research study by University of California, San Francisco. Cell journal indicates that a more accurate way of diagnosing cancer may be found not in its location, but in the genetics of the disease.
The study was a collaborative effort by the Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) project, the National Cancer Institute and he National Human Genome Research Institute. 3,500 samples of tumor tissue were reviewed and analyzed for genetic makeup and molecular characteristics. Researchers compared the tumors by RNA, DNA and proteins. As a result, they were able to identify 12 subtypes of cancer. There were only five correlated with their tissue-of-origin classifications. This data supports the concept of personalized cancer treatment that is revolutionizing the approach to patient care.
Co-author, Dr. Christopher Benz, a professor at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging had this to say about the study:
“This genomic study not only challenges our existing system of classifying cancers based on tissue type but also provides a massive new data resource for further exploration.”