Researchers at the Ovarian Cancer Research (OvCaRe) Program at BC Cancer Agency and Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute have uncovered a genetic mutation in a type of ovarian cancer.
Using innovative technology to identify the genetic spelling error, scientists have given hope to the thousands undergoing cancer treatment for rare and difficult-to-treat granulosa cell tumours.
Dr Dianne Miller, gynaecologic oncologist at BC Cancer Agency and Vancouver General Hospital, commented: "For patients with this tumour type, it means they should all have the same response to the same treatment.
"And now that we have this pathway, we can look for existing cancer drugs that might work on this particular gene mutation to make the cancer disappear."
Dr David Huntsman, lead author and genetic pathologist at the BC Cancer Agency and Vancouver General Hospital and associate professor in the department of pathology and laboratory medicine at the University of British Columbia, added that the discovery reflected the importance of cutting-edge DNA sequencing technologies in developing new treatments.
Granulosa cell tumours occur in the ovaries and testicles and usually affect people in their mid to late 50s although they have been known to occur in patients of any age.