Exacta – A Test to Accurately Screen The Cancer Mechanism


Cancer is caused due to the mutations in the genes – it is a disease of genes. Just like every human body, each person’s cancer is unique. However, the overall genetic makeup of a particular cancer tumor and the patient is not taken into consideration in the standard approach to the cancer treatment. It results in the failed therapies or aggressive relapse. Thus, it is important that genetic architecture of the cancer tumor is studied extensively before deciding the treatment plan.

This is where genetic screening plays a crucial role. DGL has introduced a high-precision test to screen the cancer – Exacta.

About Exacta

Exacta unfolds the deepest genetic secrets of an individual patient’s cancer by accurate, multi-coordinate analysis of all 22,000 genes in the cancer genome. Exacta reaches the depths of cancer’s mechanisms through 100s of millions of data points. It helps to reveal the driver mutations and pathways that are propelling a particular person’s cancer and can be targeted with precision drugs. Exacta thus enables a highly sophisticated treatment strategy beyond conventional perspective. This is the unmatched strength of Exacta. Exacta is the latest and world’s best molecular analysis for difficult cancers.

How does the test help?

It reports all pathways as per KEGG database to identify the most appropriate gene targets for therapy.

Indication of therapy resistance / Angiogenic / Proliferation / Metastatic / Recurrence Potential.

Gene expression of Primary and Metastasis tumours.

Whole exome analysis of Primary and Metastasis (all NCCN recommended genes and more).

Analysis of all miRNA in the cancer genome.

Whole genome analysis of mtDNA (Primary and Metastasis)

Mutation burden and telomere attrition / compromise.

Tests cytotoxic drug response / resistance of cancer genome.

Screens Germline metabolic response to cytotoxic / small molecule therapy.

Detects loss of Hetrozygosity / Micro Satellite Instability / epigenetic indicators.

This test is important where – 

  • The First Line Therapy has failed
  • Relapse of the cancer
  • High grade or metastatic cancer
  • The Risk of Therapy Failure is high.

It is now indeed important for cancer patients to undergo the screening before rushing into any treatment which may pose a severe threat to the health. Being well-informed helps in taking correct decisions.

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chemotherapy

Correkt-chemo – Test For the Precise Treatment


Once the cancer has been diagnosed, the patient routinely has to go for conventional

chemotherapy regimen. However, these chemo sessions are common to all patients with

that specific cancer type. This uniform approach to the treatment is one of the most

important reasons of treatment fatalities, deaths, and cancer recurrence. ‘One size fits all’

proves harmful in this case.

Cancer has unique properties and differs in every patient and hence every patient responds

in a very different manner to the same chemotherapy. Thus, a few patients undergo

remission whereas few have cancer progression even after receiving cancer treatment. It is

harmful because this cancer progression or failure of treatment becomes evident after

many days of receiving the chemotherapy and after suffering all the side effects of the

chemotherapy.

 

Time & Money

Trial & error approach proves very hazardous in this case the time is very precious for

successful cancer management and this precious time is lost with the conventional method.

At the same time, precious financial resources are wasted in drugs with no benefits and

give harsh side effects. Hence it is very beneficial for the patient and the treating physician,

if it is already known which drugs will give maximum benefit in that individual patient’s

tumor.

 

Why Correkt-chemo?

Correkt-chemo directly tests the effect of chemotherapy / anti- cancer drugs on the

patient’s tumor cells. It helps to customize the treatment plan according to sensitivity and

resistance pattern of the patient’s tumor cells. When armed with this information, patient’s

physician can ensure that they receive the most effective chemotherapy from all available

options. This personalization of the chemotherapy by directly studying effect of

chemotherapy drugs on cells taken from fresh biopsy sample of the tumor – is the Correkt-

chemo test. In this test, fresh tumor cells obtained by biopsy / surgery are treated with

different chemotherapy drugs. The effect of drug is measured directly by its ability to kill

the tumor cells. Consequent upon this information, the drugs are listed in their order of

comparative efficacy to kill the tumor cells.

 

Who should undergo this test?

  • Every cancer patient with or without metastasis, before starting cancer treatment.
  • Every patient who is under treatment for cancer.
  • Every patient in whom the cancer is not responding satisfactorily to therapy.

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Watch out for these 9 symptoms of Bone Marrow Cancer


Many people are diagnosed with bone cancer every year and almost half of them die because of it because of the late detection. Bone cancer originates from the cells that make up the interior part of the bones. Bone cancer is classified into two types- primary and secondary.

Primary bone cancer starts from cells in the hard bone tissue. It is a rare type of cancer and accounts for only two in every 1,000 cases of cancers diagnosed. This type of cancer is more common in men than in women.

Secondary bone cancer is a metastatic cancer, meaning – a cancer which started in another part of the body and spreads to the bone. This is more common form of cancer. Cancers of breast, prostate, lung, kidney, and thyroid can spread to the bones and initiate a cancer there. Treatment of this cancer is different from primary cancer.

Here are some symptoms which can possibly indicate bone marrow cancer –

Bone marrow cancer
Image credits – onlymyhealth.com
  1. Bone pain

Intense pain is in bones or joints is one of the major symptoms of bone cancer. This pain can be a result of cancer tumour- from tumour pressing against nearby nerve or organ or as a result of radiation. This pain usually intensifies during night. However, bone pain is also symptom of arthritis or injury.

  1. Easy bone fractures

The cancer affects the bone cells badly and makes them brittle. So if a bone gets fractured with a minor accident or pressure. E.g. Putting pressure or banging against the door slightly can result in fracture. This is a symptom of bone cancer.

  1. Weight loss

Weight loss that cannot be attributed to diet, exercise or any particular treatment can be a symptom of cancer. Here, the body loses its capacity to eliminate wastes and can also result in constipation.

  1. Inflammation

This symptom is common in primary bone cancer where the cancer develops inside the bone. It causes inflammation and swelling in the area where the tumour is present. It also makes skin very tender and sensitive.

Fatigue is a symptom of bone cancer
Image credits – testsieger-berichte.de
  1. Fatigue

Though this is a generalized symptom and can be associated with many other disorders; it is also a result of cancer. If the tiredness and fatigue doesn’t go with enough rest and proper diet, it can be a symptom of cancer.

  1. Anemia

Anemia occurs because the body produces more white blood cells to fight the disease and thus, production of healthy red blood cells decreases. It is one of the symptom of bone cancer.

  1. Appetite loss

As the cancer grows inside the body, the patient loses his energy and willingness to do physical work as well as physical and mental energy. The patient loses his desire to eat as the food no longer seems appetizing. The cancerous cells also absorb nutrients from the food and healthy cells get very little.

  1. Problem in sleeping

As the main symptom is pain in the bones, the person affected with bone cancer finds it extremely difficult sleeping or resting. Also, pain increases more during night and thus makes it hard for a person to have a sound sleep.

  1. Decreased immunity

To fight any disease, body produces extra white blood cells and it results in frequent infections and common diseases like cold, cough, flu, etc.

Our genes have 30% influences on our bone health. Along with our genes, bone health depends on many other factors such as age, diet, and proper exercise. Poor sunlight exposure, overuse of sun blocks, low calcium intake are some causes for lack of Vitamin D. Screening using genetic tests can help you to calculate your risk factors and take necessary measures.

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Bad lifestyle choices can lead to cancer

9 New-age lifestyle habits that can increase your risk of cancer


Sure we have all have a certain pace to follow in today’s world without which we can be left behind. We all have to run in the race and make sure we are the winners. However, while following our passion and working hard to make our dreams come true, we often neglect our health. We do not care about our food, exercise, or healthy habits. This leads to various health disorders and one of the scariest threat is that of cancer. Though we do not do it intentionally, these habits affect our health.

Here are some habits that you should avoid –
1. Processed foods

Diet plays a very important role in our overall well-being – physical as well as mental. Nowadays processed food is in and we find it easier to stock our refrigerators with ready-to-cook meals and microwave it just before leaving for work. Charcoaled grilled food is also a trend these days. But the compounds in charred foods are supposed to help the occurrence of breast cancer in women.

Overly processed food
Image credits- teensonline.co.za

2. Sodas and energy drinks

All of us think that no sugar = no health problems; and happily sip on diet coke. However, it’s not just about the sugar. The artificial colours in many sodas are connected to cancer. It is also the case with artificial sweeteners. This is called caramel colouring and it is found in many drinks and processed snacks items. These drinks have high glycemic index and increase the risk of endometrial cancer.

3. Overeating

With so many outlets nearby and food-ordering being so convenient at a tap of our fingers, overeating is bound to happen. It also means no proper intervals between the meals. Overeating leads to obesity and obesity is linked to many types of cancers like colon, breast (postmenopausal), endometrium kidney and esophagus.

4. Cellphones

Radiations from cell phone are dangerous and can lead to cancer. So it’s advised that SAR (Specific Absorption Rate) of the phone should be checked while buying a new phone. It measures the radiofrequency energy absorbed by the body from the cell phone. You need to be more careful when you are in an area with weak signals, because phones work harder to search a signal and thus, emit more radiation.

Mobile radiation and cancer
Image credits- completehealthnews.com

5. Sitting too much

All of us spend a major portion of our day sitting at our computer screens. It not just leads to jammed muscles and body pain, but also increases the risk of cancer. With the urban lifestyle, there’s very less or almost zero physical activity. Thus, it’s advised to do some physical activity at least once a day. It lowers the risk of colorectal, postmenopausal breast, and endometrial cancers.

 6. Working in night shifts

A study has found out that women who have worked at night shifts for more than 30 years have doubled risk of getting a breast cancer as compared to those who haven’t. It is because of the melatonin suppression at night. However, there are other factors too; disturbed sleep, lack of vitamin D, upset body clock, to name a few.

7. Alcohol

This is a no-brainer. Everyone knows the side-effects and after-effects of alcohol. Though occasionally indulging in some drinks is not a problem; making it a habit and having it every day definitely leads to cancer. When alcohol metabolism happens, it produces a carcinogen in the body and increases the risk for breast, mouth, pharynx, liver, and colorectal cancer.

8. Over-exposure to sunlight

Harmful UV rays from sunlight can increase the risk of melanoma skin cancer. The rates of skin cancer have gone up in a last few decades and it can be attributed to the choice of clothing as well as casual amount of sunbathing as a recreational activity.

Sun rays and skin cancer risk
Image credits – newgenskin.ie

9. Oral sex

It was quite a shock for everyone when Hollywood actor & producer said that he had got throat cancer because of excessive amount of oral sex. However, it is scientifically proven that oropharyngeal cancer is caused by HPV infection acquired from oral to genital contact. Thus, it’s always advised to be careful while engaging in such sexual behavior.

Above are some of the habits on which you should keep a check on to lead a healthy life. Because it’s rightly said- prevention is always better than cure. And if there’s any doubt you should always get tested for your risk factors so you can take preventive measures.

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Oral contraceptive Pills and genetics

Oral contraceptives and Genetic Suitability to women


The last couple of decades have seen a lot of changes in Indian society with regards to changing lifestyle, family patterns, and change in earning power, decision making and so on. While most of the women in urban areas work along with the male members of in the family, they use various methods to prevent or postpone the pregnancy. Among many other methods, oral contraceptive pills are the most used ones. In spite of its popularity, these pills also have a lot of side effects and risk factors. Let’s take a look at some of those.

Risk factors

Oral contraceptive pills come with a minor chance of blood clots in many women. But for some, this risk is very high because of the mutations in their DNA. The blood clots can sometimes prove fatal by resulting in permanent disability or even death. The women who have factor V gene are recommended to refrain from taking oral contraceptive pills because of the possibility of causing serious damages. In this case, genetic testing can prove very helpful and help the patient to select the correct medicines.

Risk of heart attack and hypertension increases in women taking oral contraceptive pills

Oral contraceptive pills also carry a risk of cancer – Estrogen and progesterone – that are naturally occurring and believed to be influential in development and growth of certain cancers. Population studies and study or cancer risks have not been able to find satisfactory link to the OCP. The distinction between the risk factors is also depended on the types of cancer. E.g. risk of cervical and breast cancer appears to increase while the risk of ovarian cancer seems to decrease with the use of OCPs.

Major factor associated with the risk factors of these pills are because of the amount of estrogen. Thus, nowadays, contraceptives with low estrogen content are developed and widely used. These contain less than 50 micrograms of estrogen. Further, if any woman has a family history of cardiovascular disorders, it is always better to avoid estrogen-containing contraceptives.

Oral contraceptive pills and genetics
Image credits- uspharmacist.com

Genetic suitability

Genes decide how body responds to any medications and drugs, same applies to contraceptives. Only genetic analysis is capable of decoding this complex mechanism of genes.

The genetic test will reveal if one carries the Factor V Leiden Mutation and other genetic combinations that put them at risk if they use oral contraceptives. It’s always safer to use the ‘PILL’ after genetic analysis.

Estrogen containing contraceptives increase thrombotic risk in females carrying factor V leiden or prothrombin gene mutations

Mutations in certain genes have been identified to contribute to the risk of migraine. Oral contraceptives are contraindicated in such patients

Weight gain is a prevailing problem in women using contraceptive pills. Genetic Screening for predisposition to ADR with respect to oral contraceptive pills at DGL tests for 10 genes responsible for the risk of being overweight after using certain OCPs.

It is always better to be informed than to regret. Genetic testing helps.

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