Mind and Body

Thousands of British Patients Take Part in Landmark Cancer-Gene Study

Scientists will analyze the DNA of 9,000 cancer patients in Britain in a bid to create a database that will help doctors target treatments more effectively.

Scientists will carry out genetic tests on patients with breast cancer, bowel cancer, lung cancer, prostate cancer, ovarian cancer and melanoma to investigate which genetic mutations respond to which treatments.

The aim is to create a database that will allow doctors to develop personalized cancer treatments for patients, dependent on the DNA of individual tumors.

The researchers, from Cancer Research UK, hope the study will transform the way cancer is treated.

"We know that prescribing certain drugs according to the genetic basis of the tumor can improve the chances of successful treatment," project director James Peach said. "I'm confident that within the next few years, we'll see personalized medicine changing the face of cancer treatment and saving many more lives from cancer."