In two thirds of cases of PTO (the primary tumor is unknown), the type of cancer can still be diagnosed. This is a breakthrough in metastatic cancer research whose source is unknown. A new technology analyzes the DNA of diseased cells, making targeted therapy possible, RTL reports.
According to the Comprehensive Cancer Center in the Netherlands, about 1,500 people are diagnosed annually with PTO. The origin of the cancer cannot be traced and therefore patients cannot be treated in a targeted manner. 85 percent of them die within a year.
The source of the cancer is very small or even completely gone
The source of the cancer may be smaller than a pinhead. Sometimes, clinical pathologist Kim Munkhorst of Anthony van Leeuwenhoek Hospital told RTL, the tumor was completely gone. Then the immune system may have already cleared them. “Then the metastases remain, but we don’t know what kind of cancer it was.”
Monkhorst: A test has been developed that uses whole genome sequencing (WGS) technology, where we can analyze the entire genome of diseased cells. In the old situation we were looking, quite simply, at a piece of tissue. Now we’re looking at DNA at the molecular level.
Correct prediction in 84% of cases
It has been investigated how often WGS makes the correct prediction about the type of tumor and it turns out that this is the case in 84 percent of cases. This study was also applied to patients diagnosed with PTO.
Monkhurst describes the results as a “huge success.” In addition to the fact that we can now often make the diagnosis, we can also create a targeted treatment plan. This also provides a better idea of the most effective treatment for tumor abnormalities. “This way we can attack the weak spot of the tumor.”
Source: RTL News
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