Surgery in the era of the ‘omics revolution. BJS 2015; 102.

Published: 27th January 2015

Authors: A. D. Beggs, M. P. Dilworth

Background

Surgery is entering a new phase with the revolution in genomic technology. Cheap, mass access to next‐generation sequencing is now allowing the analysis of entire human genomes at the DNA and RNA level. These data sets are being used increasingly to identify the molecular differences that underlie common surgical diseases, and enable them to be stratified for patient benefit.

Method

This article reviews the recent developments in the molecular biology of colorectal, oesophagogastric and breast cancer.

Results

The review specifically covers developments in genetic predisposition, next‐generation sequencing studies, biomarkers for stratification, prognosis and treatment, and other 'omics technologies such as metabolomics and proteomics.

Conclusion

There are unique opportunities over the next decade to change the management of surgical disease radically, using these technologies. The directions that this may take are highlighted, including future advances such as the 100 000 Genomes Project.

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