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Cancer Genome

November 26, 2008

Scientists have sequenced the entire genetic code of a cancerous tumor.


The cancer genome….I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

Scientists have now sequenced the entire genetic code of a cancer patient and also that of her malignant tumor. The patient suffered from acute myelogenous leukemia, a common and aggressive form of the disease. Elaine Mardis is co-director of the Genome Sequencing Center at Washington University. She says she and her colleagues recognized ten mutations on ten different genes in the genetic code of the tumor that did not match the patient’s normal genetic code. She says only two of these had previously been linked to the cancer.

ELAINE MARDIS (Washington University School of Medicine):
We discovered eight genes that have good evidence that they might be involved in cancer to different degrees.

She says the next step is to sequence the tumors of other patients to see whether the same genes, or different ones are implicated in the disease. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.