Genetic breakthrough hails new cancer research era

The genetic code of two of the most deadly cancers has been cracked by British scientists in a world first that opens up a whole new era in the treatment for the disease.

By Richard Alleyne
Science Correspondent
Telegraph [UK]
16 Dec 2009

All the mutations that turn healthy cells cancerous in both lung and skin tumours have been identified in what researchers described as a “transforming moment” in the search for preventions, treatments and cures for both terminal illnesses.

Such a detailed picture of the fundamental causes of the disease will lead to earlier detection, new breeds of drugs and better understanding of what causes the disease, they claim.

Eventually a simple blood test will lead to accurate “made to measure” treatments that can identify, attack and kill the causes of each patient’s own individual cancer, they claim.

Professor Mike Stratton, of the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, a world leading research centre in Cambridge who carried the studies, said: “What you are seeing today is going to transform the way that we see cancer.

“This is a really fundamental moment in the history of cancer research.”

All cancers are caused by damage or mutations to the DNA of formerly healthy cells acquired during a person’s lifetime…

… “This is the first time that a complete cancer genome has been sequenced and similar insights into other cancer genomes are likely to follow.

“As more cancer genomes are revealed by this technique, we will gain a greater understanding of how cancer is caused and develops, improving our ability to prevent, treat and cure cancer.” …

The article continues at the Telegraph.

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