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Novel mutations define 2 types of bone tumor
Date:10/27/2013

Scientists have made a rare discovery that allows them to attribute two types of tumour almost entirely to specific mutations that lie in two related genes.

These mutations are found in nearly 100 per cent of patients suffering from two rare bone tumours; chondroblastoma and giant cell tumour of the bone.

Chondroblastoma and giant cell tumour of bone are benign bone tumours that primarily affect adolescents and young adults, respectively. They can be extremely debilitating tumours and recur despite surgery. Occasionally, these tumours can be difficult to differentiate from highly malignant bone cancers. The mutations found in this study may be used for diagnosis of chondroblastoma and giant cell tumour. In addition, the mutations offer a starting point into research for a specific treatment against these tumours.

"This is an exceptional, if not a once in a lifetime discovery for the team," says Dr Peter Campbell, co-lead author of the study from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute. "What we normally see is that the same mutations occur in many different types of tumour. These mutations, however, are highly specific to these tumours. Moreover, our findings suggest that these mutations are the key, if not the sole, driving force behind these tumours."

The team sequenced the full genomes of six chondroblastoma tumours and found that all six tumours had mutations in one of two related genes, H3F3A and H3F3B, which produce an identical protein, called histone 3.3.

Extending the study to more chondroblastoma tumours and to other bone tumours, they were able to verify that this mutation was found in almost all cases of chondroblastoma. Interestingly, the team also observed that most cases of a different type of bone tumour, giant cell tumour of bone, have a mutation in the H3F3A gene, albeit in a different position in the gene. A pattern emerged where both tumour types, chondroblastoma and giant cell tumour of bone, are
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Contact: Aileen Sheehy
press.office@sanger.ac.uk
0044-012-234-92368
Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute
Source:Eurekalert

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