MACHINA: An Algorithm to Track Spread of Cancer Cells

Published By : 02 Jul 2018 | Published By : QYRESEARCH

It is a known fact that cancer cells migrate overtime to lead to metastatic diseases, which is regarded as the cause of over 90% of the deaths from cancer. Now, if the direction of cancer cell migration can be tracked, it will be stepping stone in terms of treating the growth of masses of solid tumors in organs such as prostate, breast, and colon. A recent study by a group of researchers from the Princeton University have formulated a fresh computational algorithm that can track down the cancer cells from one organ to another.

The key discovery achieved by the study is identifying the particular changes in body cells and mutants that enable them from migrating. Called as MACHINE, a short form of metastatic and clonal history integrative analysis, the algorithm can help further studies to interpret the historical processes of metastasis based on DNA sequence extracted.

The new technology is adding to the unclear picture of cancer migration coming from DNA sequence that physicians had to rely on, and is expected to revolutionize cancer biology.

By formulating a way to track cells’ movements, MACHINA has showcased that some of the patients with metastatic diseases may be a reflection of only a few cellular migrations than previously interpreted. For instance, 14 different migration events were proposed in one of the studied cases of breast cancer, whereas MACHINA detected a solitary secondary tumor in the lung that had given birth to other five metastases of cell migrations. The study has also been proofed on patients with ovarian, melanoma, and prostate cancers.

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