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Researchers take a step towards understanding the genetics behind breast cancer

Scientists at the Institute for Cancer Research (ICR) in London have developed what is being called an "encyclopedia of genes" associated with breast cancer - something they hope will help with the quest for new treatments. As a Cancer Research UK article explains:

[The researchers] used a lab technique called high-throughput RNA interference screening to identify genetic faults that drive the various forms of breast cancer.

Tumour cells contain a large number of genetic alterations. In the past, researchers have had problems designing targeted drug therapies as it can be difficult to determine which faults fuel cancer tumour progression and which are coincidental.

The research, published online in the American Association of Cancer Research journal Cancer Discovery, can now be used by scientists around the world to develop drugs that will target the faulty genes most associated with breast cancer.

The method, which was designed to provide a more targeted, personalized approach to cancer therapy, may also apply to other cancer types if validated.

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