Tuesday, December 13, 2005

U.S. launches cancer gene mapping project

Maggie Fox, The Star (via Reuters), December 14, 2005
Today the US Government launched a pilot project to find all the little genetic changes that cause cancer and hope it can open a whole new world of targeted cancer therapy. The researchers are not yet sure which cancers they will start with but say it will be a small number, perhaps two or three. They will seek hundreds of samples from hundreds of patients with the selected tumor types and then use the human genome map made at NHGRI to try and find all the changes that mark cancer. Several cancer-causing mutations, called oncogenes, are known already. Some of the best known are the BRCA1 and BRCA2 breast cancer genes, also implicated in some cases of ovarian cancer.

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