The most fatal cancers are often the ones that spread aggressively from their primary locations to other organs in the body. Scientists have always suspected that other individual factors such as immune competence, genetic mutations can also promote its spread and influence how fast and aggressively it spreads. A new study has, for the first time, established this, revealing that our own genetic makeup can influence cancer spread.
The study suggests that gene carried from birth may influence cancer spread, explaining why different people experience varying severity of the same type of cancer. So, if you had ever thought about why someone’s ovarian cancer killed faster than another person’s, the answer may lie within their genome.
For instance, from a large study of over 300 patients with skin cancer, researchers found that those with a certain gene variant – called ApoE4 – survived the longest, while those with ApoE2 lived the shortest. This knowledge could help create a more individualized treatment for patients based on their genetic profile.