Researchers at the Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School in Singapore have identified numerous new subtypes of gastric cancer that are triggered by environmental factors.
Reported in the Oct. 17, 2012, issue of the journal Science Translational Medicine, the findings are based on the science of epigenetics, a study of gene activity. The insights into the complexities of stomach cancer could lead to better treatment approaches for the second leading cancer killer in the world, behind lung cancer.
“Gastric cancer is a heterogenous disease with individual patients often displaying markedly different responses to the same treatment,” said Patrick Tan, M.D., Ph.D at Duke-NUS and lead author of the study. “Improving gastric cancer clinical outcomes will require molecular approaches capable of subdividing patients into biologically similar subgroups, and designing subtype-specific therapies for each group.”