Can looking at RNA as well as DNA impact cancer treatment? Elizabeth Tracey reports


 DNA comprises the blueprint of the cell while RNA instructs how proteins are made. A new study shows that sequencing both can have an impact on cancer management. Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center director William Nelson explains.

Nelson: They had a panel of 18 genes or so and they sequenced the DNA and the RNA and what they were asking was how often did sequencing of the RNA add something substantial to what you already learned from sequencing of the DNA. For about 549 of these 43,000 people it made a significant difference. When you added the RNA sequencing you increased the number of things you thought were actually worrisome by about 3%. This clearly adds substantial information to a small fraction of the people you sequence. I think as the cost of sequencing both of these things goes down probably just do both.  :34

Nelson predicts that looking at both DNA and RNA will inform our understanding of cancer over time. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.