More mutated genes involved in cancer than previously thought

BMJ 2007; 334 doi: (Published 15 March 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;334:557
  1. Zosia Kmietowicz
  1. London

    The number of abnormal or mutated genes that drive the development of malignant tumours is far greater than previously thought, according to the largest survey of cancer genes so far (Nature 2007; 446:153-8, doi: 10.1038/nature05610).

    Scientists at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, where one third of the human genome was sequenced, have decoded parts of 500 genes from 200 individual cancers. The study looked at mutated genes within tumours. These mutations are not present in other tissues, and are not inherited.

    It is known that 350 of the 25 000 or so genes in human DNA are implicated in the development of tumours. But to screen every gene within a tumour for genetic mutations would not be …

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