Scientists drill down to genetic root of prostate tumour development

Scientists have revealed the root of prostate cancers in individual men, discovering that despite huge genetic variety between tumours they also share common gene faults – insight that could offer new treatment hopes, according to research published in Nature today.

In a landmark paper, scientists and researchers read all of the DNA in tumour samples from 10 men with prostate cancer. This allowed them to map a ‘family tree’ of the changes happening at a genetic level as the disease spreads, forms new tumours, and becomes resistant to treatment.

They also revealed more detail about how prostate cancer spreads, showing that the group of cells that first spread from the prostate carry on travelling around the body, forming more secondary tumours.

The research is part of the International Cancer Genome Consortium (ICGC) – a global project using the latest gene-sequencing technology to reveal the genetic changes driving the disease.

Full press release at Cancer Research UK

Link to the research: Gundem et al. The Evolutionary History of Lethal Metastatic Prostate Cancer.

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