Gene expression profiling to revolutionise cancer diagnosis and treatment
Christie Younger 42898739
The onset of cancer can be sudden. We like think that "it won't happen to us" but the thing is, we have a 1 in 2 chance of developing cancer in our life time (National Cancer Institute 2011). The worst part is that we can't predict it or prevent it. Plus, it can be difficult to diagnose cancer in its early stages as seen in how basal cell carcinomas, a common type of skin cancer, can become widely spread before clinical signs occur (Tomas 2009). The good thing is advancements in cancer research. Scientists are currently undergoing research to identify genes that, when expressed, cause the development of cancer (University of Utah, 2012a). The procedure they use is called gene expression profiling. This procedure is widely used in cancer research as scientists across the globe try to understand cancer and discover ways to try and predict, diagnose and treat it.
|Figure 1.0 A microarray slide.||(University of Utah 2012b)|
|Figure 2.0 A microarray scanner (University of Utah, 2012b)|
|Figure 3.0 List of activated genes (University of Utah 2012a).|
Through research, scientists are gaining a deeper understanding of cancer through using techniques such as genetic expression profiles. Genetic expression profiles are revolutionising the way cancer is diagnosed and even allows for the probability of cancer incidence to be predicted by checking if a patient has cancer-associated genes.
• Berres, S, van Dam, S, de Magalhaes, JP, McArdle, A, Silva, AS, and Wood, SH, 2011, Gathering insights on disease etiology from gene expression profiles of healthy tissues. Oxford University Press. Oxford.
• National Cancer Institute 2011, Lifetime Risk (Percent) of being Diagnosed with Cancer by Site and Race/ Ethnicity, viewed 18 March 2012, < seer.cancer.gov/csr/1975_2008/results_merged/topic_lifetime_risk_diagnosis.pdf >
• Tomas, S 2009, Difficult to diagnose skin cancer, viewed 18 March 2012, < www.racgp.org.au/afp/200907/200907tomas.pdf >
• University of Utah 2012a, Gene Expression, viewed 18 March 2012 < http://learn.genetics.utah.edu/content/labs/microarray/expression/ >
• University of Utah 2012b, Profiling Technique: Microarray Analysis, viewed 18 March 2012 < http://learn.genetics.utah.edu/content/labs/microarray/analysis/ >