Thursday, March 08, 2007

The Cancer Genome: More Genes Involved than We Thought?

A Nature paper just published by the Wellcome Trust's Cancer Genome Project reports on the findings of a study sequencing 518 protein kinase genes across 210 human cancers of various sorts. Not surprisingly, most mutations were random "passenger" mutations unlikely to play any causative role is disease, but interestingly nearly one-quarter of all kinase genes surveyed (120) carried "driver" mutations. This is in contrast to the mere 350 of the 30,000 human genes previously identified as being involved in cancer using more traditional, trial-and-error type approaches. Bottom line is that there may be a hell of a lot more oncogenes and tumor suppressors out there than we think.


Rob said...

I think I'm a bit out of touch with reality. Instead of being depressed that this basically means cancer is going to be even harder to characterize and thus treat, I was kind of excited that there was a bunch of exciting new avenues of research.

Bayman said...

Yes you are obviously out of touch with the "great unwashed".