Sunday, May 19, 2024

Finding the genetic causes of a rare cancer affecting the kidney

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An international team led by researchers at the British Wellcome Sanger Institute has revealed a new drug target that could act as an alternative treatment for kidney cancer if doctors don’t recommend surgery. According to the results of a study published in the journal Nature Communications (Monday), this rare cancerous form of kidney tumor is called Renin tumor, and its complete genetic code has been understood for the first time.

Reninoma is one of the rarest cancers in humans, with only about 100 cases reported worldwide. Although it can usually be treated with surgery, it can cause severe high blood pressure and develop into malignant tumors that can spread.

There are still no medical treatments for kidney tumors, as treatment management only involves surgery. Before the results of the latest study came out, it was not known what genetic error caused these types of tumors.

Reninoma is one of the rarest cancerous tumors in humans (Public Domain).

According to the study’s co-principal investigator, Dr. Sam Bagadi, Wellcome Senior Research Fellow at the Wellcome Sanger Institute: “The significance of our results is that we have succeeded in discovering the essence of this type of tumor. Based on the fact that it is so rare, there have been no previous studies on it.

He added to Asharq Al-Awsat: “Not only have we been able to understand the genetic code of a kidney tumor, but we have also shown that drugs can counteract what triggers it, and this may be important for patients whose tumors cannot be removed. through surgery.”

Researchers have identified a specific error in the genetic code of a known cancer gene called NOTCH1, which is behind the development of this rare cancer.

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“This is the first time we have identified the causes of kidney tumors, and we believe our work will continue to pave the way for new treatments,” said lead study author Taryn Trescher at the Wellcome Sanger Institute.

The team has already studied two cancer samples, one from a young adult and the other from a child, using advanced genetic techniques. Their findings suggest that existing drugs that actually target this gene could be used as a potential solution for treating kidney tumors in patients for whom surgery is not a viable option.

Dr Tansina Chowdhury, lead researcher on the study at Great Ormond Street Hospital in the UK, explained: “Rare forms of kidney cancer known as renal tumors do not respond to traditional anti-cancer treatments. “Currently the only known treatment is surgery.” She added: “There is a specific, well-known gene that drives this rare cancer. Our study shows that the studied gene has “If we use drugs that are already known to affect this gene, we can deal with it without the need for invasive medical technology like surgery.”

Here Bahjati said: “Rare cancers are a huge challenge for research and analysis. Patients with other types of tumors may not benefit from them. “But here is a powerful example of cutting-edge science that is changing our understanding of an extremely rare type of tumor: a discovery that could have immediate clinical benefits for patients.” He added: “We will continue to study these extremely rare tumors to understand their genetic code, which we hope will reveal more new therapeutic approaches.”

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Nadia Barnett
Nadia Barnett
"Award-winning beer geek. Extreme coffeeaholic. Introvert. Avid travel specialist. Hipster-friendly communicator."

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