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Gastric cancer that occurs among relatively young patients in their 40s, is specifically called “early-onset gastric cancer.” With nearly no symptoms and due to the difficulty in diagnosis, the mortality rate is quite high. Using proteogenomics, Korean researchers have discovered the reason why early gastric cancer occurs.
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Early-onset gastric cancer makes up about 15% of all gastric cancer patients in Korea. It’s difficult to diagnose while the progression is fast, making treatment highly challenging. But the bigger problem is determining the cause and why it happens. In the early stages of gastric cancer, the cancer tissues are not a lump but are what’s called a diffuse type, as the tissues are spread extensively beneath the gastric mucous membrane. Korean researchers have now identified the reason behind early gastric cancer. It’s a feat jointly accomplished by Korea University, the National Cancer Center and the Korea Institute of Science and Technology. Researchers obtained cancer tissues and adjacent ordinary tissues from 80 patients over the past 5 years, and conducted a genomics analysis. They found three mutant genes out of some 7,000 collected from the patients that are connected to early-onset gastric cancer. The discovery proves the interaction between the genes and protein inside the patient’s body. Through the study of proteogenomics, researchers have also categorized patient response to treatment into four traits. The findings are expected to help discover the most adequate treatment for different patients. The latest findings which were part of a Science Ministry-funded project are published in the online edition of the global academic journal “Cancer Cell.”

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