“US researchers have shown that stomach cancer is at least four separate diseases.
“The findings, published in the journal Nature, could rapidly lead to new clinical trials focusing on the different forms. Drugs are already available that target the genetic faults behind some of them.
“Experts from The Cancer Genome Atlas Research Network – a US-wide government-funded research project – analysed 295 samples of stomach cancers to find similarities that may be targeted when developing treatments.
“Research into the biology of stomach cancer and the development of new therapies has been difficult because of the different forms that the disease can take.
“Lead author Dr Adam Bass, from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, said that, despite stomach cancer being a diverse disease up until now researchers had tended to take a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to stomach cancer treatments.”
Editor’s note: For other cancer types, including lung cancer and melanoma, doctors often prescribe drugs that are personalized according to mutations found in patients’ tumors. Learn more about personalized cancer treatment.
Image: Stomach cancer cells (via Wikimedia Commons)