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Scots team makes 'ground-breaking' cancer discovery

Research team develops method to predict how some cancer patients will react to treatment.

Pioneering cancer research by an Aberdeen team may be used to predict how patients will respond to treatment.

A three-year project by a team from the University of Aberdeen and NHS Grampian has made ground-breaking findings which they say could change the face of cancer treatment.

The study, funded by the Friends of Anchor charity, began in December 2007 and involved 40 patients with oesophageal and gastric cancer.

The team managed to identify a gene signature from tumours which could be used to predict when patients will and won't respond to chemotherapy treatment. They also found some genes which could be useful targets for more effective drugs in the future.

Dr Russell Petty, who led the team, said: "These results are an important step towards our goal of individualising and ultimately optimising treatment for each patient.

"This will help us to move towards a situation where we can ensure that patients avoid any unnecessary treatment that would prove ineffective to ultimately maximise the chances of treatment success in each case."

The research also managed to find a strong link between oesophageal cancer and increases in body weight.

The north-east team has been ranked as the top billing at an international cancer conference to be held in San Francisco, attended by thousands of delegates from around the world.

Source STV. Read article on STV website >

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