China Discovers New Gene Remedy for Cancer

Chinese scientists have found a new gene that can help identify the best drug remedy for cancer patients, a gene researcher said Tuesday in Chongqing.

Chemotherapy is a secondary resort for cancer patients who have,for one reason or another, missed the opportunity for an operation,said Huang Guijun, a doctor with the Human Gene Research Instituteof the No. 3 Medical College of the Chinese People's Liberation Army.

Doctors tend to rely on their own experience or the patients' requirements when they choose drugs for chemotherapy, Huang said.

"Improper drugs may not work on the cancer cells, but may kill normal cells and consequently sabotage the patients' immunity," he said, "Drug resistance has long been baffling doctors, particularly in the treatment of cancer."

The first drug-fast gene discovered in China
It is estimated that humans have 60,000 to 100,000 genes, some 20,000 of which are related to diseases.

Huang and his colleagues started an experiment on "drug-fast" genes over a year ago, and filtered out over 100 potential gene blocks.

They found two blocks stood out after a comparison with what was already listed on the international gene bank.

After they cloned one with molecular technologies, Huang and his colleagues were able to identify it as the first drug-fast gene discovered in China.

Cloning for the second gene block is continuing, scientists say.

The drug-fast gene has proved effective in identifying drugs for cancer patients during a three-month clinical trial. Experts predict it may help find optimal therapies for most cancers and prolong the lives of severe liver and lung cancer patients by at least five years.

Huang said they would continue their experiments on the drug-fast genes and draw up a gene spectrum which would help doctors identify the most effective drugs for all cancer patients.

People's Daily Online ---