Scientists Achieves Breakthrough in Bowel Cancer Treatment

Bowel-CancerBritish scientists have reported to identify faults in DNA that can assist doctors to develop therapies for thousands of patients afflicted from bowel cancer. The research is a new step to flag up small groups of genetically similar cancer patients who can benefit from specific treatments.

Dr Lesley Walker, director of cancer information at Cancer Research UK, said: "This important study shows how the most fundamental science can have a direct impact on the treatment of patients in the clinic.

Cancer Research UK scientists from the University of Dundee initiated a genetic analysis of 106 bowel cancer tumour samples as a part of the study, seeking faults in a vital gene called K-Ras.

The information about the K-Ras gene for a patient is necessary as only those without the defect stand to grab advantage from two new "antibody" cancer drugs. In fact the drugs, cetuximab and panitumumab, might even harm patients with defective K-Ras.

Scientists today report a 33% of bowel cancer patients to have a K-Ras defect - around 12,375 people in total, and 3,000 more than had previously been assumed.

The research has prompted that it could assist experts develop new drugs to combat cancer.

The Liberal Democrat politician has lent support to Cancer Research UK's Beating Bowel Cancer campaign.