The smile of a child is the most cherished ingredient of life. The quest for maintaining these precious smiles is strived for in every form, in the face of harsh atrocities that aggravate them on the other hand. One such dilemma is aggressive childhood cancer. But life has a hope for the purest of its form; scientists have now found a new effective way of diagnosing and treating aggressive childhood cancer.
Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have discovered genetic changes that stimulate the growth of aggressive rhabdomyosarcoma (an aggressive childhood cancer affecting skeletal muscles and soft-tissue in the developing stage). 290 rhabdomyosarcoma tumors were examined in the study and 29 carcinogenic genes were discovered which have not been identified previously as potential causes of cancer. The genes which had no pair or had an additional number of copies (genomic copy-number amplifications or losses) were identified.
The discovery of this cause owes much to an iExCN algorithm, which served to combine Bayesian analysis (centered upon statistical inference) and CRISPR/Cas9 (a gene-editing tool screening and validating statistical predictions). The algorithm is time-consuming, yes, but it bears fruit and provides a “more accurate estimation of statistical associations” as Dr. Lin Xu puts it who is an esteemed instructor in the Departments of Clinical Sciences and Pediatrics.
The crux of the discovery is the gateway to more accurate diagnosis and effective treatments of the childhood cancer. Now, there is more hope to find a potent way to beat this battle of life and death for our young angels. Scientists are now moving forward with their findings and applying them to other cancer types to identify oncogenic drivers and tumor-suppressors. Hopefully, the research would pave for bringing back a healthy safe childhood for our children and their eyes will shine not only with innocence but experiences of a vivacious approach to life. In other words, our hopes for the affected children are in no way meant to be crumbling!