I recently read an article who's premise was genomic information is not reliable for predicting disease processes. I couldn't agree more. There is a difference between using genomic data to predict disease, and using genomic data to affect the function of the immune system.
Each person is born with a set of genes inherited and recombined into a unique blueprint or map. The expression of those genes is not just based on what is inherited but how they interact with the outside environment (epigenetics). In other words, genes are not static. One can have gene mutations that increase your risk to cancer, a good example being BRCA mutations, but never develop cancer. In fact, 40% of people with BRCA positive gene mutation do not develop cancer. Using genomic information to predict the development of a disease process such as cancer is tricky because of the complexity of our immune system, and also outside factors. However, we can use genomic data to look at factors affecting the ability of the body to:
- seek and find pre-cancerous and cancerous cells
- undergo apoptosis
- undergo DNA and cell cycle repair processes
Most conventional genetic testing looks at specific genes associated with cancer development such as the aforementioned BRCA I and II mutations in breast and gynecological cancers, JAK2 mutations in myeloproliferative disorders, KRAS in pancreatic cancer, and APC in colon cancer. While these are important and specific treatments have been designed accordingly or are in the process of being designed, the power of a properly functioning immune system is often overlooked.
Using complex software we can analyze over 3,400 genes some of which are involved with the cell cycle, DNA and cellular damage repair which are associated with cancer development. Within OPUS23 genes are linked to peer reviewed studies that demonstrate the mutations' significance, affect on its function, frequency and demographic; and the epigenetic impact of toxins, nutrition, medication, and supplements on its function. This information is invaluable and provides more precise and personalized treatment plans than most practitioners are able to prescribe.
At the least I like to look at the following genes:
AKT, PTEN, CASP3, VDR, ECM, TNF-alpha, NFKB1, IFN, IL12, HIF, GLUT4, SLC30A8, p53, COMT
I personally recommend that every cancer patient have an OPUS23 analysis done for more insight and precise supplementation and diet recommendations.