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publicado em 12/12/2012 às 11h10:00
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Molecular test can avoid unnecessary surgery in patients with rectal cancer

About 3% of patients are unnecessarily subjected to the adverse effects of chemotherapy and radiotherapy

 
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Scientists at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, Center for Molecular Oncology of the Syrian-Lebanese Hospital and Institute Angelita & Joaquim Gama work on developing a molecular test in order to help doctors identify those cases.

Preliminary results of the research were presented by Anamaria Camargo Aranha, director of the Ludwig Institute this week, during the event Fronteras de la Ciencia - Brazil en España y los 50 años de la FAPESP.

The symposium is part of the celebrations of 50 years of FAPESP and gathers in the cities of Salamanca (10 to 12/12) and Madrid (13 and 14/12), in Spain, researchers at the State of São Paulo and from different educational institutions and Search the Iberian country, in an intense program, diverse and open to the public.

According Camargo, approximately 3% of patients do not respond to neoadjuvant therapy and are unnecessarily subjected to the adverse effects of chemotherapy and radiotherapy. At the other extreme, however, there are 30% who respond so well that not even need to be operated.

The standard treatment for rectal cancer presently involves calling neoadjuvant therapy - which consists in applying radiation and chemotherapy to reduce the tumor size - followed by invasive surgery that, in most cases, have great impact on quality of life of patients .

This number can reach 60% depending on the protocol used. We need more efficient tools to differentiate these cases and make treatment more personalized, Camargo said the agency FAPESP.

Today, the evaluation of the results of neoadjuvant therapy is made by serologic tests, digital rectal examination and imaging studies such as ultrasound and CT. But none of these techniques is sufficient to give the physician assured that the tumor disappeared. When in doubt, surgeons prefer to operate.

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Depending on the area affected, surgery may impair sexual function and cause urinary and fecal incontinence. The good news, however, is that advances in genomics are allowing the identification of markers and the development of custom tests that can deliver much of that suffering patients.

In partnership with Angelita Habr-researchers Gama and Rodrigo Oliva Perez, Angelita Institute & Joaquim Gama, Camargo's group sequenced the genome of the tumor and identified seven patients all chromosomal rearrangements present in each case. Then, molecular tests have been developed that allow to trace the presence of these chromosomal abnormalities in blood samples.

If the molecular test to detect the presence of altered DNA, is a sign that there is still tumor cells producing and releasing this material into the bloodstream. Now if the result is negative, the patient may repeat the test from time to time to make sure there was no recurrence, explained Camargo.

<i> information Fapesp </ i>

Source: Isaude.net
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Molecular testing    surgery    rectal cancer    Oncology Center of Molecular Syrian-Lebanese Hospital    Institute Angelita & Joaquim Gama    Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research   
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