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From BBC online news:
Scientists have unlocked the entire genetic code of two of the most common cancers – skin and lung – a move they say could revolutionise cancer care. Not only will the cancer maps pave the way for blood tests to spot tumours far earlier, they will also yield new drug targets, say the Wellcome Trust team. Scientists around the globe are now working to catalogue all the genes that go wrong in many types of human cancer. The UK is looking at breast cancer, Japan at liver and India at mouth. China is studying stomach cancer, and the US is looking at cancers of the brain, ovary and pancreas.
The International Cancer Genome Consortium scientists from the 10 countries involved say it will take them at least five years and many hundreds of thousands of dollars to complete this mammoth task. But once they have done this, patients will reap the benefits.Professor Michael Stratton, who is the UK lead, said: “These catalogues are going to change the way we think about individual cancers.
“By identifying all the cancer genes we will be able to develop new drugs that target the specific mutated genes and work out which patients will benefit from these novel treatments.
“We can envisage a time when following the removal of a cancer cataloguing it will become routine.”It could even be possible to develop MoT-style blood tests for healthy adults that can check for tell-tale DNA patterns suggestive of cancer.
Russian roulette-The scientists found the DNA code for a skin cancer called melanoma contained more than 30,000 errors almost entirely caused by too much sun exposure.
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