Genetics is the science that studies genes mutations and hereditary characters, however scientists have found another phenomenon called epigenetics.
But what is epigenetics?
It is the study of how the individual’s behavior can cause changes that affect the functions of their genes.
Adding that this new finding also studies the non-genetic factors that exist in the embryo’s development.
The idea of this discovery is that epigenetic could control cancer, and adapt treatments for this disease, but the investigation is barely starting.
The called “dark matter” could alter the way cancer is treated and detected, as well as the gene mutations and the growth of cancers.
Epigenetics does not alter the DNA, but it can control the access to genes which is a very important role in the development of cancer.
Trevor Graham, professor and director of the Centre of Evolution and Cancer at the Institute of Cancer Research in London, said they have unveiled an extra level of control for how to cancer behave, something they compare to cancer’s “dark matter”.
The research is about the “tangles in lines of DNA” and there can be fold up in each cell and this can change which genes are read, and this is important to determine how cancers behave, professor Graham added.
The finding shows that epigenetic changes were very common in cancerous cells and helped them grow more than other cells, nevertheless scientists cannot prove that epigenetic changes lead to alterations in the way cancers behave, and more work needs to be done to show this occurs.
If genetics and epigenetics change, scientists can accurately predict which treatments will work best for a particular person’s cancer.