Researchers at the University of Cape Town (UCT) have identified genetic patterns that can assist in the early diagnosis of six types of cancer.
The UCT Chemistry Department’s Professor Kevin Naidoo and Dr Jahanshah Ashkani made the discovery of a unique genetic pattern in breast, colon, lung, kidney, ovarian and brain cancer.
The patterns can identify variations within each cancer type to guide specialised patient treatment.
Naidoo is now leading a multi-laboratory collaboration to analyse the blood samples of South African patients.
They hope to develop a low-cost gene expression tool for breast cancer soon.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in South Africa and it is increasing in incidence.
It is especially concerning that large numbers of women with breast cancer are found in rural areas.