The transcriptome study provides personalized information on aspects relevant to the treatment of tumors such as resistance or sensitivity to chemotherapy or other types of anti-tumor drugs.
About 20-25% of all cancers have genetic abnormalities (alterations in the DNA of the tumour cells) which can be detected by studying the genome. The transcriptome analysis (RNA), being carried out at the Quirónsalud Torrevieja Hospital for more than 10 years, supplements the genome study, offering therapeutic alternatives in up to 70% of the other tumours, as noted by Dr. Manuel Sureda, an oncology specialist at Quirónsalud Torrevieja Hospital.
What is a transcriptome and how is it used in cancer treatment?
DNA sends its messages to the cell through RNA, in a process called transcription. All the RNA in the tumor cell or transcriptome reflects the instructions the DNA transmits to the cell to enable it to function autonomously, independent of the body’s regulatory mechanisms, which is a primary feature of malignant tumors.
We could say that the genome is the instruction book of a living being, while transcriptome would be the essential handbook for understanding and carrying out those instructions.
At Quirónsalud Torrevieja we have been studying the transcriptome of tumors on a regular basis for over 10 years, designing specific therapeutic strategies with different rates of clinical benefit for the patient in up to 70% of the cases studied.
These outcomes have already been published in the American Journal of Clinical Oncology and in Clinical and Translational Oncology.
Benefits of transcriptome for cancer patients
By using transcriptome, the specialists at Quirónsalud Torrevieja are able to study, in real-time, the most relevant molecular features of the tumor at each stage of its evolution, its strengths and weaknesses, and thus administer a personalized treatment to the patient, adapted to the features of the tumor itself.
For example, [the transcriptome] allows us to assess whether drugs whose activity in that tumor is in doubt continue to be active; whether it already expresses resistance patterns for drugs frequently administered in that type of tumor; suggests the use of uncommon drugs for which the tumor cells express clear signs of sensitivity, etc. In short, it provides comprehensive information on the features of the tumor, and in Oncology, information about the tumor equates to anti-tumor capability.
One of the main advantages of the transcriptome is that information is obtained in real-time, as tumors often change their characteristics to “survive” in the hostile environment presented by the body’s defenses and the treatments administered.
Thus, repeating transcriptome after the tumor has progressed has proved to be a key tool for delivering personalized therapy with a greater chance of effectiveness.
The information generated by transcriptome can be very useful in all kinds of tumors, “although it may be more relevant for locally advanced or metastatic tumors, due to the genetic complexity these tumors have in their evolution”, adds Dr. Sureda.
Hospital Quirónsalud Torrevieja
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