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The genetic makeup of cancer tumors may be the key to develop personalized and more potent treatment, a new study suggests.

An effective cancer treatment for each individual patient is yet to be developed. Numerous studies and researchers have tried to perform intricate experiments just to discover what truly makes cancer tumors succumb.

Now, a new study from international researchers found surface proteins in all cancer cells that may finally serve as an "Achilles heel" for future treatments.

Biological Flags

The authors were able to come up with the breakthrough findings by studying the genetic makeup of lung and skin cancers. They found that even if the tumor grows and spreads throughout the body, it carries with it specific biological "flags" that the immune system can be triggered to attack.

These flags in surface proteins can only be found in cancer cells. With this, scientists may develop treatments that specifically target these flags. With some help from the immune system, the combined power may eliminate the tumor.

The Immune System Knows

When the researchers studied further, they discovered that the patients' immune system has already done something to combat their cancers. However, the immune system is too weak to destroy malignant cells.

Upon closer inspection, the tumor contains immune cells inside, signifying that the immune system was able to recognize the unique cancer flags. But then again, the immune cells were not able to finish the job because it was either insufficient or was defeated by the defense mechanisms of cancer cells.
"What we've found for the first time is that tumours essentially sow the seeds of their own destruction," says study lead author Charles Swanton from the Francis Crick Institute in London.

Another amazing discovery is that tumor cells maintain its genetic trademark even after it grow and mutate drastically. This means that there is no escaping for these tumors once a potent treatment that targets the flags is administered.

Read More: Techtimes

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