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publicado em 13/12/2012 às 10h43:00
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Advances in genomic change therapeutic strategies Oncologists

Spanish researchers suggest changes in techniques that allow planning of personalized therapies against cancer

 
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Foto: Usal
Rogelio Gonzalez-Sarmiento, Center for Cancer Research at the University of Salamanca (Usal)
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Rogelio Gonzalez-Sarmiento, Center for Cancer Research at the University of Salamanca (Usal)

Spanish researchers suggest that progress in genomic techniques is allowing the custom design of therapeutic strategies against cancer. The techniques of next generation sequencing have enabled researchers in laboratories, redefine the classification of tumors based on molecular criteria. This paradigm shift is changing the therapeutic strategy of oncologists said Rogelio Gonzalez-Sarmiento, Center for Cancer Research at the University of Salamanca (Usal), during the event Fronteras de la Ciencia y Brazil España en los 50 años de la FAPESP.

Besides the actual genetic changes that occur are those that change in the DNA sequence, such as point mutations, deletions, insertions and chromosomal rearrangements, epigenetic changes can also cause cancer, according to Manel Esteller, director of the Program Epigenetics of the Institute of Biomedical Research of Bellvitge in Barcelona.

We can imagine that the genome is the hardware of our computer and epigenetics is the software that makes the hardware work, Esteller said the agency FAPESP.

For this reason, he added, identical twins may develop different diseases, even though they share the same DNA. They have the same hardware, but different software. Chemical changes are regulating the expression of genes, said.

Among the known chemical changes, the most important is the DNA methylation reaction, which involves the addition of a methyl group (CH3) shares certain DNA and changes the pattern of gene expression.

This is a physiological process of gene regulation. For example, our brain cells have the same DNA as the cells of our hearts, but have different functions. To a large extent, this is due to DNA methylation. What happens in cancer is that there is a change in global DNA methylation and this creates a corrupted software, Esteller said.

The causes of epigenetic changes are, according to the researcher, much like those responsible for changes in the DNA sequence. Among them the most important is aging.

You can measure the biological age of a person by analyzing the profile of DNA methylation. Throughout life we ​​go through experiences that change our cells. The process of DNA methylation decreases and this makes the chromosomes more fragile and easier to corrupt, Esteller said.

Only a few genes and precisely those responsible for protecting us against cancer start to suffer more due to aging methylation and expression are blocked. In developed countries, the age is now the largest risk factor for cancer, he said.

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), researchers from the State of São Paulo and from different educational institutions and research in the country Iberian.

<i> information Fapesp </ i>

Source: Isaude.net
   Palavras-chave:   Human genome    Genomics    Genetics    Treatment strategy    Oncology    Cancer    FAPESP    Spain   
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