Genetic research is making considerable strides towards finding safer and more efficient ways of dealing with bladder cancer. With about 80.000 new cases, in the U.S. alone, each year, this is the fourth most common type of cancer in men.
For most people, the discovery of a new strain of cancer might not sound like particularly good news, but scientists are very excited about isolating “p53-like bladder cancer”. Named after the gene signature it is associated with, this is one of the more aggressive variants.
Part of the enthusiasm is related to the process used to identify it. By using a computational method, called ActMi, along with MicroRNA molecules, they were able to accurately distinguish p32 from among other types of bladder cancer. This could lead to better-personalized care and improved survival rates.
The interdepartmental-run study also showed promise when it came to possibly using microRNAs data to generate better solutions for treating the disease. P53-like bladder cancers have proven to be more resistant to standard chemotherapy, which also made finding an adequate course of treatment more difficult.
In a press release, Jun Zhu, Ph.D., Professor of Genetics and Genomic Sciences at Mount Sinai stated that: “Our computational methods not only provided us with deeper insights into the cellular mechanisms underlying this elusive type of bladder cancer but also reveal the potential of microRNAs as therapeutic targets in treating it.”
By having better understanding of the structure and composition of the tumors, and the tools to accurately distinguish between the different strains of cancer, science can improve the odds in our favor.