What is Cancer Biotechnology?

Biotechnology in Cancer treatment
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Cancer is a genetic or hereditary disease. It is a disease characterized by variations of the genome and the proteome. Its controls include prognostic diagnosis, differential diagnosis, early detection, and cancer progression control. The proper treatment with biotechnology techniques has assumed a central priority in cancer research and treatment. Biotechnology is a modernized science with high accuracy and more efficient power. The analysis ability at the bimolecular level provided researchers with detailed information about causes, biomarkers, related pathways, genes, factors, targets, and anticancer ligands for control of different types of cancers to provide definite therapy for compensation of disadvantages, and incomplete ability of treatment. And also the side effects of current methods of cancer therapy such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

A must read- Types of Cancer – My Biology Dictionary

In this, we have focused on biotechnology techniques for cancer control and analyzed the role of each technique with examples. And also the importance of each technique during the control stages of cancer. The techniques discussed here are such as Gene profiling, Genome analysis, and Cell Culture. It will be helpful for you to understand the need and importance of biotechnology in cancer treatment.

It is recorded that cancer is the second main cause of death after heart disease. Every year about 10 million people in the world detected with cancer. A high percentage of the die as a result of failed treatment of the disease. Success percentage in cancer cure is restricted due to difficulties in detection, late appearance of cancer, and unavailability of differential therapy. Biotechnology’s contribution to cancer research has generally broken such restrictions. Also played a significant role in developing new ways of cancer control and prevention.

Gene Expression Profiling:

Gene Expression Profiling is a technique or method for measuring the expression level of a wide number of genes simultaneously. It is used for the r classification of tumors and identification of specific alleles that increase the risk of developing cancer. Due to carrying genetic defects through inheritance in individuals which gives them a susceptibility to develop cancer over their lifetime. The most suitable gene expression profiling techniques used by biotechnologists are, DNA sequencing, In situ hybridization, Real-time PCR, and gene mapping.


These are the following method or techniques for the treatment or control of cancer by using biotechnology-

  • DNA sequencing
  • In situ hybridization
  • Real-time PCR
  • Gene mapping
  • Genome analysis

DNA sequencing in Cancer treatment:

DNA sequencing is a determination process of the proper form of nucleotides: adenine, guanine, cytosine, and thymine within the strand of DNA. This method or technique is widely used in cancer research programs for the detection of oncogenic DNA sequences. DNA sequencing of cancer–related to genes is done for the discovery of biomarkers. Its variants, single nucleotide change, small insertions, and small deletions of genes are detected using DNA sequencing. These DNA sequence changes are present in cancerous tissues while are absent in normal healthy tissues of the same individual. So the detection of such oncogenic DNA sequence variants is a key point for the development of new treatments. As the products of oncogenic DNA sequences are irregular so they can serve as targets for pharmacologic prevention. The method is continuously applied for the discovery of biomarkers until the completion of observation of the spectrum of DNA variation in cancerous tissues.
Biotechnology in Cancer treatment

In Situ Hybridization:

It is another biotechnology technique or method which is widely used in cancer research programs. In this technique, localization of a specific DNA, or RNA sequence in a section of tissue (in situ) is done by using a termed complementary DNA, RNA or probe. Using this technique is  particularly very helpful for scientists to analyze the expression of genes and their roles in the development and progression of specific cancers.

Real-Time PCR in Cancer treatment:

Real-time PCR is another profiling expression technique that has vast applications in the analysis and study of cancers. This method is an advanced form of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) used for amplification and simultaneous detection or quantification of a targeted DNA sequence. In this method, the general principle of PCR is applied and detection of amplified DNA is required while the reaction progress is in real-time. Real-time PCR is one of the central focuses for cancer research programs.

Gene Mapping in Cancer treatment:

Gene mapping is another biotechnology technique for the determination of the location of the gene gaps gap and related distances between genes on a chromosome. The main aim of gene mapping in cancer projects is the positioning of genetic markers related to cancers onto their respective locus on the genome gene mapping goal is to identify markers related to specific cancer and individual so it provides personalized cancer therapy. , Also it helps in the prior detection of cancer, identification of high-risk cancer patients and finding molecular markers that can predict therapy responses.
Biotechnology in Cancer treatment

A new study systematically mapped connections between 625 breast and ovarian cancer genes and nearly every FDA-approved chemotherapy for breast or ovarian cancer. Image source: www.ucsf.edu

Genome Analysis in Cancer treatment:

Genome analysis consists of the determination, measurement, and comparison of genomic elements such as DNA sequences, Gene expression, and regulatory and functional elements at genomic rate.
There are two types of analysis are in Genome analysis- Microarray analysis and Cell culture.

Microarray Analysis in Cancer treatment:

The most suitable technique or method of genome analysis is microarray used for comparison level of expression of thousand genes simultaneously. This method helps scientists to understand which gene is turned on or off in the presence or absence of cancer. The microarray analysis helps in the remote ignition of known genes playing role in cancer which in turn lead to the identification of new target or spot for cancer treatment. To figure out the level of expression of genes in a cancer cell line, Real-time is used which gives analytical information about quantifying change in gene expression.

Cell Culture in Cancer treatment:

The mechanism of growing the cells outside of their environment under controlled conditions is called cell culture. Eukaryotic cells along with human cancerous cells have the potential to culture outside the human body under controlled conditions in incubators. Identified genes that played role in cancer can be inserted into a cell line. Subsequent changes and effects were studied and determined by growing these cells in cell culture. In this technique, the gene is first cloned and after injection in a plasmid vector, amplifies in bacteria. Then the vector is transferred into mammalian cells using one of the cell transfection techniques like liposomes. Incubation of these cells is done at human body temperature and supplied with applicable nutrients. By comparing the gene expression in these cells with controlled cells, researchers can analyze the change that appeared in the cells due to inserted gene. It is helpful for us to find out breast cancer development-causing molecules. For further examination, the application of Microarray and PCR technologies together was used.
Biotechnology in Cancer treatment

Evolution of 3D cell culture cancer models: Advances and future outlooks. Image source:www.science.org

To sum it up, Biotechnology introduced as an essential field filed of research and study for cancer treatment as it develops targeted therapy. The study of cancer at the molecular level is possible through biotechnology techniques. Cancer is caused by variations in the genome and the proteome. These variations allow the cancerous cells to inhibit the normal mechanism of control and to start developing uncontrolled. The main goal of biotechnology in the detection of cancer is to determine these molecular errors. By using this knowledge, provide differential diagnostic and prevention diets.
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Team MBD

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