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The IIS Biodonostia researchers advance in the understanding of cancer thanks to the latest sequencing technology

2014 February 3

Dr. Charles Lawrie researcher and Director of the Oncology Department at IIS Biodonostia, is one of the authors of a recently published study in the Nature Genetics journal. It is the first genetic profiling study that sheds light on the mechanism by means of which a haematological cancer (follicular lymphoma) progresses from a controllable state to an aggressive cancer. In the study run by Professor Jude Fitzgibbon from the Barts Cancer Institute at London University, the latest DNA sequencing techniques were used and they enabled key mutations that trigger the progression to more aggressive forms of the disease to be identified. These findings provide a number of new therapeutic targets aimed at slowing down the progression to aggressive form and even avoiding the development of resistance to treatments.

The research led by Charles Lawrie, from IIS Biodonostia, and by Dr. Jose Ignacio López Fernández de Villaverde, Head of the Pathological Anatomy Department at Cruces University Hospital, has also been recently published in the Journal of Pathology. The paper identified new mutations that allow a rather rare type of kidney cancer, known as papillary clear cell renal carcinoma, to be distinguished from the other more common renal cancers and which may explain why it occurs. Using the latest microarray and sequencing techniques, they also observed that the RNA levels are different between the different types of renal cancer and identified a diagnostic pattern, which will allow pathologist to easily identify this rate type of cancer. The information from the study should lead to better diagnostics and eventually to new treatments aimed at those patients being developed.

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