Over the last decade, it has made good sense to study the genetic drivers of cancer by sequencing a tiny portion of the human genome called the exome -- the 2% of our three billion base pairs that "spell out" the 21,000 genes in our chromosomes.If cancer is a disease precipitated by changes in genes, after all, we need to know lots about how and when different genes change in the many distinctive subtypes of cancer.This is one of the reasons pancreas cancer is so painful." It's possible, Feigin says, that axon guidance signals -- and indeed cell adhesion signals -- "are actually being used by tumor cells" to gain advantages over healthy cells."Tumors, for example, can actually spread via nerves; this is called peri-neural invasion." A question naturally arises: if these and several other pathways were already implicated in pancreatic cancer, what is the advantage of the new knowledge about promoter mutations?D., formerly of Adjunct Associate Professor Michael Schatz's lab, to focus narrowly on genome segments called gene promoters.lie adjacent to, but not within, the sequences of the genes that they regulate.
Yes, there are countries (including a sub-Continent) trying to gain access to the IP, in order to get the green to the US oncogenomics market. Yes, since another genomic phenomenon was also visible (by the naked eye in Indian Corn) - but her breakthrough had to wait about 40 years.
The cell adhesion pathway affected by newly discovered mutations in gene promoter regions is important for obvious reasons in cancer: cancer cells want to grow and proliferate, a process that can culminate in their migration from their tissue of origin.
Once they have broken free, they can travel via the bloodstream to other places in the body, a process called metastasis that is often responsible for cancer fatalities.
The new data thus "adds depth to our understanding of things that go awry in these critical pathways, sometimes promoting cancer formation, other times providing cancer cells with advantages that enable them to crowd out healthy cells," comments Dr.
Tuveson, who in addition to leading a lab at CSHL is the Director of CSHL's NCI-designated Cancer Center and Director of Research for the Lustgarten Foundation, the nation's largest philanthropic funder of pancreatic cancer research.