Cancer is the complex disease in which there is proliferation due to genetic and epigenetic causes. Mutations in the genes or proteins results in cancer. Mutations can be due to a number of reasons such as environmental factors, biological factors, eating habits etc. many cancerous cells or tumor cells are broken down to form new ones. The broken down material of tumor cell which may include the DNA known as circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) releases into blood.
Detection of cancer
The detection of tumor is not easy at early stages.Different techniques such as liquid biopsy, tissue biopsy etc. are used in the cancer or tumor detection. Liquid biopsy is the detection of the ctDNA in the blood which ultimately refers to the tumor cells located in the different parts of the body. In Tissue biopsy, the tissue or cell is taken which is to be examined but sometimes it’s difficult to access the tissues, if the quality or quantity is not detectable.
Biotechnology is the field in which different products and techniques bare produced for the benefit of mankind. Biotechnology plays a key role in cancer studies. The ctDNA obtained from the blood is analyzed through the PCR techniques, exome sequencing and whole genome sequencing. PCR techniques are used to produce several copies of the DNA so that it can be easily identified. Quantitative PCR, digital PCR (dPCR) etc. are used. Exome sequencing is the sequencing of the protein coding regions of the DNA called exons while in Whole genome sequencing, the entire genome is sequenced.
Cell signaling and cancer
Cell signaling is the basis of the functional body as it involves the ligand/receptor interaction to produce a particular response. The mutation in the signaling pathways results in the different abnormal process such as cell growth, uncontrolled proliferation etc.
In case of cancer, for example the mutation in the RAS proteins results in the permanent activation of the RAS protein which affects the further pathway (RAF/MEK/ERK). In the normal process the RAS GDP is converted in RAS GTP when the signal is received which in turn activates the RAF also called MAPKKK (mitogen activated protein kinases kinase kinase) which activates MEK (MAPKK) which in turn goes for the activation of ERK (MAPK). This further then goes to the nucleus to be transcribed and produces the protein which performs its function. The mutation in the RAS is a disaster as it controls the cell growth and proliferation.
Bioinformatics in cancer
Bioinformatics is studied in biotechnology as a subject in which computation is involved. The huge data obtained from the cancer studies needs to be stored. The bioinformatics deals with the data management, data computation. The bioinformatics involves different techniques such as next generation sequencing (NGS). The cancer bioinformatics uses different bioinformatics techniques and methodologies to answer the questions of cancer keeping in view the communication, proliferation and disease metabolism.