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Genetic errors identified in 12 major cancer types

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Posted October 17, 2013
Examining 12 major types of cancer, scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have identified 127 repeatedly mutated genes that appear to drive the development and progression of a range of tumors in the body. The discovery sets the stage for devising new diagnostic tools and more personalized cancer treatments.

 
Genetic errors identified in 12 major cancer types
By analyzing the DNA in more than 3,000 tumors, scientists led by Li Ding, PhD, at The Genome Institute have identified 127 repeatedly mutated genes that likely drive the growth of a range of cancers in the body. The discovery sets the stage for devising new diagnostic tools and more personalized cancer treatments aimed at the unique genetic changes found in individual tumors. Credit: Robert Boston, Washington University in St. Louis
 

The research, published Oct. 17 in Nature, shows that some of the same genes commonly mutated in certain cancers also occur in seemingly unrelated tumors. For example, a gene mutated in 25 percent of leukemia cases in the study also was found in tumors of the breast, rectum, head and neck, kidney, lung, ovary and uterus.

Based on the findings, the researchers envision that a single test that surveys errors in a swath of cancer genes eventually could become part of the standard diagnostic workup for most cancers. Results of such testing could guide treatment decisions for patients based on the unique genetic signatures of their tumors.

Read more at: MedicalXpress

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