Tumors of unknown origin are the eighth leading type of cancers. Researchers say a new testing method called Gene Expression Profiling may now help identify where tumors first begin to grow. They say the testing method is about 86-percent accurate in determining a tumor's origin.
Specialists say most cancer treatments are selected specifically by tumor type. Giving the wrong treatment may slow recovery or even cause negative reactions. When the tumor cannot be reliably identified, as is true in as many as 15 percent of cases, selection of treatment is difficult or impossible, costing patients precious time.
The Gene Expression Profiling test is performed on a patient's RNA sample, which is sent to a lab. No additional special tests are required for the patient. At the lab, the sample is put through laser-capture microdissection, which allows for selection of an enriched sample of the tumor -- increasing the yield of RNA for analysis. The RNA gene expression is compared to the RNA gene expression of more than 60 different types of cancer, 24 tissue or organ sites, and 69 tumor types, accounting for more than 90 percent of all known cancers.
Researchers conclude saying that the potential of gene testing is great , however they say that further research has to be done in Gene Expression Profiling as it has a very promising future .