Canadian researchers find novel method to detect and predict cancerous tumours
The Canadian team of researchers working to identify the cancerous cells that are causing the deadly human papillomavirus (HPV) outbreak has discovered a new technique to analyze the genomes of these cells.
The new technique, described this week in the journal Science, uses a “genome sequencing tool” to identify cancerous genetic sequences in human papills and compare them to a database of previously published genetic information.
The results are potentially useful for the first time in developing a new treatment for HPV-16, the virus that causes cervical cancer, said Dr. Michael J. Mascarenhas, one of the researchers who created the new technique.
“There’s been no new treatment available that’s been effective at the moment, which is really surprising,” said Mascarelli, the associate dean for clinical and translational sciences at the University of Toronto.
“We know that HPV is a significant cause of cervical cancer.
And in addition to being a major risk factor, it also carries the potential for cancerous mutations.”
The new method, called a genome sequencing tool, uses “genomic DNA” to extract DNA sequences from DNA samples from human papilla and cervix samples.
In this case, these DNA sequences are used to generate a database that contains previously published information about HPV and its genetic components.
This is done using a method called RNA-seq, which allows for the extraction of RNA from the DNA of a virus.RNA-seq uses a DNA template to create a “sequenced RNA” or a “readout” of the DNA that can be analyzed for a large number of variants and genes.
The RNA-sequenced data are then compared to previously published DNA sequences for the genes that have been identified as being involved in causing cancer in the human population.
Mascarello and his team have now developed a new tool called “HMPI-VIRM,” which is a variant-based DNA analysis tool that is more accurate than previous approaches, according to the study’s lead author, Dr. David M. Brown.
The HMPI Virm is a very sensitive tool that allows for a much larger number of variant and genes to be identified than previously available methods, he said.
The team’s next step is to use this tool to test for specific mutations in HPV DNA and compare the results to the data from other studies.
This will give them a better idea of the potential effectiveness of existing treatments and how to develop a new drug to combat HPV.
According to Mascares, the new tool should be available in early 2018.
The work was supported by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.
For more information, please visit: http://www.cbi.gc.ca/health-care/publications/news-and-information/science/diseases-infections/dynamic-genome-sequencing-tools/