Genomics research is one of the most important type of research that carries a potential in cancer diagnosis and treatment. Within Hospital 57357’s pursuit to engage in the latest research fields and adopt the most recent treatment methods, the genomics research unit is involved in a number of research studies using the latest genomics scanning and analysis devices aiming to improve methods of treatment and raising recovery rates.
Regarding the unit’s most important tasks Dr. Ahmed Abdel Azeez explains that the genomics unit has two functions, the first is to conduct genetic scanning for the patient or for groups who are most exposed to the disease such as the patient’s relatives. In case of a cancer incidence, the genetic composition of the cell experiences a defect causing it to convert from a natural to a cancerous cell. The patient’s genetic scanning aims to identify the type of genetic disorder to help determine the type of treatment and select the best treatment protocol which would produce maximum effect and minimum side effects.
With respect to the genetic scanning for groups that are most exposed to the disease such as the patient’s relatives, the goal is to detect the defect in the gene early enough before it is transformed into a cancerous cell .If genetic mutation was discovered in the family, the possibility of cancer incidence increases within the family members. In this case preventive measurements should be taken early enough. Among these measurements is accurate medical monitoring to detect the development of any symptoms that wouldn’t respond to treatment.
The second function of the unit is to conduct the type of research that aims to discover new tumor markers for different types of cancers that are proper to the Egyptian population, to help early detection of cancer.
Among the important research studies of the unit, that the Egyptian Cancer Network, ECN, is funding, is a research about genetic analysis of bacteria that is resistant to many antibiotics. Cancer patients usually have weak immunity because of chemotherapy; as such the existence of bacteria that is resistant to antibiotics will affect his response to treatment and may cause deterioration and death.
In this research we separate the bacteria from patient’s cells, to analyse its genetic code, and hence, to identify the weapons or genes that makes it resistant to some antibiotics. At the same time we also can determine the genes that are defected and the kind of antibiotics it will not be able to resist. Through this genetic identification we can select the antibiotics that we can rely on and that can eliminate this bacteria, to include it in the treatment protocol.
Dr. Abdel Azeez asserts that applying this research will contribute to improving medication results, raise recovery rates and reducing expenses, specially as the bacteria resistant to antibiotics is found in about 40% of children, and is considered one of the main causes of death among children with cancer.
He also revealed that the phase of scanning the bacteria is completed and the phase of analyses and scientific recording has started, to prelude publishing the research worldwide, then the phase of application will starts. This research is conducted in cooperation with the infection control and microbiology department using the latest generation of genetic scanning devices, to be the first research in Egypt to use such high quality technology.