April 25 – International DNA Day
Every year on April 25, an unusual holiday is celebrated in different countries of the world – the International DNA Day. It was on this day in 1953 in the journal “Nature” that a group of scientists published the results of a study of the structure of a DNA molecule, which is a double regular helix consisting of two polynucleotide chains.
In Russia, DNA Day was celebrated for the first time on April 24-25, 2009 at Krasnoyarsk State Medical University.
Thanks to the discovery of DNA, the code of heredity was revealed, the genetic risk was identified, the formation of programmed properties of the organism was started, the improvement of heredity is carried out, genetic engineering technologies are being created. Several recent Nobel Prizes have been awarded precisely for discoveries in the field of DNA and are directly related to medicine. For example, “genetic scissors” by Emmanuel Charpentier and Jennifer A.Dudny, which will help exclude damaged genes from the DNA chain to avoid hereditary cancers.
Today, on this day, April 25, special educational programs, scientific symposiums and exhibitions are held throughout the country. We will tell you about one of the newest methods of diagnosing tumor diseases associated with molecular genetic analysis of blood.
In 2023, the NMIC of Radiology of the Ministry of Health of Russia mastered an innovative method of molecular genetic diagnostics – liquid biopsy. This is a high-tech technique that is performed on state-of-the-art equipment and has a number of obvious advantages. Liquid biopsy is a non-invasive method of blood diagnostics that does not require surgical intervention.
The method of liquid biopsy is based on the analysis of trace amounts of DNA of tumor cells freely circulating in the blood. The highly sensitive device used for the study makes it possible to identify the genetic features of a very small amount of tumor DNA in the bloodstream.
“With its help, we can determine specific tumor-specific mutations with high accuracy,” says Peter Shatalov, PhD, Head of the Department of Molecular Biological Research at the NMIC of Radiology of the Ministry of Health of Russia. – Currently, we have started using this technology for patients with colorectal cancer, lung cancer and breast cancer. Tumors of the same type may contain a different set of mutations and respond differently to drug therapy. The determination of mutations in the DNA of tumor cells makes it possible to clarify the diagnosis (molecular subtype of the tumor), as well as to monitor the effectiveness of targeted therapy in a particular patient in dynamics.
This study can be carried out with the frequency that is necessary for monitoring after various drug therapy options and promptly adjust it.
The liquid biopsy method is widely used not only in clinical practice, but is also used to solve scientific and practical problems in the development of new protocols for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer patients, and is used today all over the world.
– It should be noted that our specialists have made a great contribution to the process of developing and adapting Russian reagents to a foreign device, – said Andrey Kaprin, Director General of the NMIC of Radiology of the Ministry of Health of Russia, Academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences. – Undoubtedly, this type of research carried out in our Center will help doctors choose the most effective methods of combating various types of tumors.
Press Service of the NMIC of Radiology of the Ministry of Health of Russia