Major cancer breakthrough

Scientists crack genetic code for skin and lung cancers

The first full DNA mapping of two types of cancer has been completed in what scientists are hailing as “a fundamental moment in cancer research.” Researchers discovered the tens of thousands of genetic errors in cancerous cells by comparing them with cancer patients’ normal cells. In the case of melanoma (skin cancer) the errors were mutations caused by ultraviolet light, whereas the mutations in the case of lung cancer were caused by smoking. The findings were published yesterday in the science journal Nature and are expected to help create new types of screening tests and drugs that accurately target cancer on a genetic level. “This is the complete list, so we now see uncovered all the forces that have generated that cancer and we now see all the genes which are responsible for driving those two cancers,” said Prof. Michael Stratton, one of the researchers who worked on the paper.

CBC News

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