Sunday November 9, 2008 (foodconsumer.org) -- For the
first time, scientists have decoded an entire genome of a patient who died from
leukemia in hopes to find ways to prevent and treat the disease, according to a
new study published in the prestigious scientific journal Nature.
Dr. Richard Wilson of Washington University in St. Louis
and colleagues used DNA sequencing techniques and identified 10 genetic
mutations out of 20,000 genes in the cancer cells from the patient.
One newly discovered abnormal gene was found to block
chemotherapy drugs from getting inside the cancer cells to kill them while four
others may turn off a cell's defense system that would otherwise prevent a
healthy cell from ever turning into a cancer cell.
Genetic mutations that cause cancer may be suppressed
using medications or whatever means to prevent and or treat cancer.
The discovery of this study can be the first
step toward finding new treatment for leukemia.
ABC News reported that researchers are working hard to
identify mutated genes that cause other types of cancers such as lung, brain
and ovarian cancers.
Human genome has already been studied for one type of
In a paper published Sept.
4, 2008 in the journal
Nature, U.S. scientists
reported new genetic mutations and other types of DNA alterations with
potential implications for the diagnosis and treatment of the most common form
of brain cancer, glioblastoma.
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