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The truth of cancer: everyone has oncogenes

Does every person have oncogenes?

According to the present global statistics, every 1 in 100 people suffers and dies from cancer. Every year, 1 out of 5 people that die is taken by cancer. In the coming 20 years the situation is not likely to change, thus we should prepare and learn how to fight it.

Oncogenes are split into viral and cellular, these two have the potential to induce malignant transformation of cell characteristics. Under normal circumstances, there will be no viral oncogene activity; once the viral oncogenes receive impact of the radiation, or are affected by chemical carcinogens, they will wholly or partly cause activation-induced tumorigenesis. And cellular oncogenes – oncogenes present in regular cells – will be then turned into tumor-causing cellular oncogenes, e.g. EGFR, K-RAS, B-RAF, C-KIT, etc. It is presently confirmed that ray radiation, chemical carcinogens and viral infections can lead to activation of oncogenes. Several activation modes are:

  1. Point mutation
  2. Gain exogenous promoters
  3. Reduction of methylation level
  4. Increased oncogene copy number
  5. Gene translocation or rearrangement

The cellular oncogenes discovered up to now are closely related to normal cell growth and proliferation, differentiation and apoptosis and the very conservative “housekeeping genes.” Their expression products can be: growth factors, growth factor receptors, G protein or small molecule, protein kinases, transcription factors, or, in short, they are the key molecules in various signal transduction pathways, focused on physiological functions.

Now, what about the tumor suppressor genes?

Scientists have discovered the existence of tumor suppressor genes. They are present in a class of genes that inhibit cell growth in normal cells, also owing a potential tumor suppressor role. When this type of gene mutates, is deleted or inactivated, this can cause malignant transformation of cells and lead to tumorigenesis, such as tp53, pten, etc.

Oncogenes – a storyline as old as the history of multicellular organisms.

Now that we understand the non-negotiable existence of oncogenes in human cells, a new question arises – how can we predict when the oncogenes are going to start causing trouble? Recently, scientists have found some evidence that cancer genes, genes that cause tumor formation, can be traced back to the earliest true metazoans.

Therefore we can say that oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes have always existed in the human body. However, cell carcinogenesis is definitely not the only function of cellular oncogenes. In the normally functioning cells, some of the tasks that the cellular oncogenes are busy with are: the protein products of the oncogenes are involved in normal cell growth, differentiation and multiplication. It would be most precise to say that the normal cellular oncogenes help with the normal physiological cellular functions, but under certain conditions it will cause the appearance of cancerous cell genes. In addition, strong evidence that speaks about the normal functioning of the oncogenes is the discovery of its conservative existence in yeast, fruit flies, mice and human genomes.

So, what are those ‘certain conditions’ that cause cancer development?

Proto-oncogenes are activated by three major factors: physical (most often ionizing radiation or ultraviolet radiation), chemical (aflatoxin, nitrites) and biological (e.g. HPV causing cervical cancer). Normally, once proto-oncogenes are activated, intracellular oncogene p53 would immediately lead to de-activation of proto-oncogenes. In case of P53 gene damage, we will not be immediately facing death, because our immune systems are subject to monitoring the state of the body cells: once cancer cells are found, the immune system immediately starts to promote cancer cell lysis. Therefore, we can conclude that three conditions are necessary for the appearance of cancer: 1. exposure to carcinogenic factors causing oncogene activation; 2. Unsatisfactory functioning of tumor suppressor genes; 3. The immune system monitoring function defects. Thus, to prevent cancer, it is crucial to avoid contact with carcinogenic factors, ensure adequate nutrition, diligent exercise routine and enhance the body immunity.

Detection of oncogenes and curing rate.

If cancer is detected early, the cure rate is high. Currently, more than 100 of cancer genes and tumor suppressor genes have been found. Following in-depth studies of oncogenes, a variety of methods for detection of gene and cancer oncogene products, namely, the Southern blot, PCR, in situ hybridization, ELISA and immunohistochemistry technology, have been used in clinical diagnosis.


Tomislav Domazet-Lošo, Alexander Klimovich, Boris Anokhin, Friederike Anton-Erxleben, Mailin J. Hamm, Christina Lange, Thomas C.G. Bosch. Naturally occurring tumours in the basal metazoan HydraNature Communications, 2014; 5 DOI: 10.1038/ncomms5222


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Multifaceted IVD Market Growing Rapidly

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The potential prevention and early detection results of in vitro diagnostics include reduced treatments and higher survival rates.

Multifaceted IVD Market Growing Rapidly

The IVD market is segmented into clinical chemistry, immunology, hematology, coagulation, microbiology, molecular diagnostics, and other clinical instruments.

  • In vitro diagnostics (IVD) are a prominent and fast-emerging segment of the global healthcare sector. IVD tests analyze human samples such as blood, urine, or tissue and provide information for making healthcare decisions. Key IVD tests include pregnancy test kits, blood glucose tests, laboratory tests for infectious disease, regular blood tests for cholesterol and hemoglobin content, genetic tests for various genetic diseases, etc.

    Interest in companion diagnostics is also growing as providers and patients embrace the idea of selecting the best therapy for a particular patient based on their disease-related gene sequence.

    IVDs have potential in prevention and early detection resulting in reduced treatment, enhanced therapy success, higher survival rates, and improved quality of life.

    An IQ4I Research & Consultancy analysis has found that the global IVD market is expected to grow at mid-single digit CAGR to reach $88.00 billion by 2020. The IVD market is largely driven by increased incidence of chronic and infectious disease, demand for point-of-care testing (POCT) devices, technological advancement, personalized medicine, cost-effectiveness, and healthcare awareness. On the flip side, intensified competition, reimbursement issues, and affordability of healthcare diagnostics are hampering IVD market growth.

  • Click Image To Enlarge +
    In vitro diagnostics market segmentation

    Based on techniques used in IVD, the market is segmented into clinical chemistry, immunology, hematology, coagulation, microbiology, molecular diagnostics, and other clinical instruments. The immunology segment had the largest revenue in 2013 and is poised to reach $35.3 billion by 2020. The molecular diagnostics market segment is expected to grow at the highest CAGR (more than 8%) during the forecast period. Among various IVD products, reagents commanded the largest market in 2013, followed by the instruments segment.

    The infectious disease segment is the largest part of the market, and continued growth is expected. The oncology segment is expected to grow at the highest CAGR (more than 7%) during the forecast period. Among the various end-users of IVDs, the hospital segment accounted for the largest market in 2013 and is expected to reach half of the market size by 2020.

    Developed regions such as North America commanded the largest market in 2013 and are expected to reach $38.19 billion by 2020. Significant investments in healthcare infrastructures and availability of government funds improved market growth in this region. However, the Asia-Pacific region is expected to grow at the highest CAGR during the forecast period due to increased healthcare awareness, improved economic growth, and increasing disposable incomes. Significant mergers and acquisitions, collaborations, and joint ventures are the industry trends that are playing a major role for the market growth.

    Major players in the IVD market include Roche Diagnostics, Bio-Rad Laboratories, Becton, Dickinson, Bayer, Sysmex, Alere, Abbott Laboratories, Siemens Healthcare, Johnson & Johnson, Danaher, and Biomerieux.

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GenomeLab GeXP Genetic Analysis System from AB SCIEX

It’s our pleasure to share news from AB SCIEX! 

The GenomeLab GeXP Genetic Analysis System is a multiplexed quantitative solution that reproducibly measures subtle, biologically relevant changes in gene expression. This system can detect down to 0.5-fold changes in gene expression, providing much more meaningful information than ever before. In addition, the GeXP multiplex feature allows multiple reference (housekeeping) genes, genes of interest and an internal control to be analyzed in a single well for improved accuracy.

The GenomeLab GeXP Genetic Analysis System supports researchers who have completed their initial discovery work with literature or large-scale screening technologies. The system provides a multiplexed, quantitative gene expression and multipurpose genetic analysis platform. Please ask your local sales representative to calculate your own  personal cost savings by making the simple change to multiplexed gene expression profiling.



BeckmanCoulter-Genome Lab GeXP CE


  • Reduce bottlenecks with our high-throughput, low-cost solution
  • High-throughput quantitative gene expression
  • Cost-effective and time-saving gene expression
  • High accuracy and reproducibility you can trust
  • Low sample requirement
  • Comprehensive software tools


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People. Cancer. Environment.

Not all that glitters is gold: together with the seemingly bettering quality of life, the number of malignant cancer cases increases as well. Malignant tumors and cancer cases are an increasing threat to each one of us. Therefore, it is of extreme importance to understand what factors contribute to the development of cancer and when is it not too late to fight it.

Various factors contribute to the development of cancer: amongst them, an important element is the environment. Starting from the last century, various incidents related to the environmental degradation as well as the general worsening of the environment, have contributed to the increasing amount of cancer cases. The infamous incident in the narrow valley of Maas in Belgium in the 1930 took more than 60 lives over the course of one week. Due to a phenomenon called temperature reversal, the gasses from a dozen of plants could not be dispelled and lingered near the earth, resulting in high SO2 concentrations. Another daunting example is the city of Cubatao, which is located 60 kilometers away from the city of Sao Paulo. Cubatao was named the ‘valley of death’: the city, surrounded by mountains from all of the sides, saw a steep rise of petroleum refining, petrochemical, iron manufacturing and other heavy industry companies as well as a large population increase to 150 million after the 1960’s, became a satellite industrial city for Sao Paulo. As smoke filled the valley and people got used to daily foul water overflows, 20% of the city population suffered from severe respiratory allergies and the health of 20’000 people was seriously harmed.
In addition to the reverse effects that the environment, the modern life pace has also played its part: the stressful pace of the nowadays life poses a lot of pressure on people, causing the weakening of the body‘s immune system and declining resistance. Such conditions leave the increasingly young population exposed to tumor growth threats. Cancer previously perceived as the disease of the old, is now also threatening the lives of young people. In order to prevent cancer, people must compromise their life choices: the National Public Radio of the USA has recently directed the spotlight to the increasing cancer cases among long-term smokers, especially in Inida, Russia and China. In the year 2012, over 1,8 million new cases of lung cancer were recorded, with 1,6 lives taken away over the same period of time. In addition, more than 22% of deaths in the developing countries are caused by infectious agents that in turn develop to cancer: liver cancer caused by hepatitus B and C, cervical cancer tumours caused by human papiloma virus as well as gastric cancer, developed from Helicobacter pylori.

The only bright side in this situation is that together with the commonality of cancer cases, cancer treatment is also developed. Technological development now enables doctors to target cancer and cancer causes, thus giving more hope to the patients. By building cDNA libraries, collecting information from the cDNA sequencing, and using qualitative and quantitative analysis to analyse mRNA composition, as well as interpreting particular cell and tissue types, scientists can now understand gene expression categories and abundance in specific cells as well as expression differentiation between abnormal and normal cells. Already known, that HPV, the main cause of cervical cancer, can now be indentified 19 high-risk and 6 low risk types that can be determined by molecular examination. Another example is the HCV virus, which can now be detected on time by testing the HCV types and IL28B gene fragments. By testing the SNP loci in the IL28B, an efficient treatment can be decided on. The new molecular diagnostic technologies are opening a new door for cancer testing and treatment, thus providing a new chance of recovery for the cancer patients.