DNA Fingerprints: Catching up to Cancer

DNA Fingerprints

In honor of World Cancer Day, AMPM Billing takes a look into the new strides being made in the fight against cancer.

What are DNA Fingerprints?

A report on Science Daily spotlights a new collaborative effort spearheaded by over 1300 scientists from 36 countries. This pan-cancer study aims to use DNA fingerprints to trace each cancer’s root cause. By compiling the most comprehensive list of cancer causes to date, scientists are able to identify where DNA has been damaged. Therefore, we will be able to better identify what caused that damage.

DNA strand

This tracking this marker back is called a fingerprint, and it may just change the course of cancer research forever. As a medical billing company, we know that expanding cancer research is of the utmost importance.

Why is DNA Important?

It all comes down to chromosomes. Inside the nucleus of every cell in the body, chromosomes made up of DNA form the building blocks and command center the system. DNA acts as a type of code that tells each cell what to do. In most cases, this leads to a functioning system of cells that promote normal growth. However, as with any complex code, errors can arise. 

According to Cancer Research UK, “our genes pick up mistakes that occur when cells divide. These mistakes (or faults) are called mutations.” Mutations can occur for a variety of reasons, some natural. However, outside factors can cause mutations to occur as well, such as radiation and harmful chemicals. Sometimes these factors confuse the DNA in the cell and cause them to follow incorrect instructions. Furthermore, this can lead to cells multiplying out of control, which is how cancer forms. 

Therefore, if scientists are able to better identify these mutation-causing triggers, more can be done to prevent and treat cancer at a base level.

The Scope of DNA Fingerprints

Science Daily posits, “these fingerprints will allow scientists to search for previously unknown chemicals, biological pathways and environmental agents responsible for causing cancer.” To date, the project has already analyzed the data from more than 2,500 genomes and close to 40 types of tumors. This breadth of study and data is unprecedented, and should open up avenues that were up until now unexplored. 

This is exciting news for those suffering with types of treatment resistant cancer. It also gives hope to those who are at risk of types of cancer for which the cause is still unclear. With each uncovered clue, the mystery shrouding cancer falls away, and science can fill in the gaps. 

Disclaimer: The materials contained on this website are provided for informational purposes only and do not constitute legal or other professional advice on any subject matter. Advanced Medical Practice Management does not accept any responsibility for any loss which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site.