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Sweeping view of prostate cancer genome yields deep insights
Date:2/9/2011

hology at Weill Cornell Medical College, compares the Nature study to looking not just for spelling errors in the genome, but also for whole paragraphs or sections of genomic text that have been rearranged. "One of the big surprises is the fact that prostate cancer doesn't have a large number of misspellings, but instead has a large, significant number of rearrangements," says Dr. Rubin, who is also a pathologist at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center. "We would never have guessed that there were so many genomic alterations of this type before now because we didn't have the right tools to look for them."

These alterations are known as genomic rearrangements -- a kind of shuffling that occurs when a piece of DNA from one part of the genome breaks off and reattaches itself in another location. These rearrangements can create new genes (called "fusion genes"), allow a gene to operate unchecked, or prevent a gene from even working at all. Such changes can set a cell on a path toward cancer. By looking for genes affected by these rearrangements in multiple prostate cancer samples, the researchers unearthed new genes tied to the disease and found new mechanisms that may be driving cancer as a whole. The prostate cancer samples were provided by Dr. Ashutosh Tewari, the Ronald P. Lynch Professor of Urologic Oncology and professor of urology and public health at Weill Cornell Medical College and a robotic urologic surgeon and director of the LeFrak Center for Robotic Surgery at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell.

"This first whole genome view shows us tantalizing evidence for several new prostate cancer genes that likely would have remained undiscovered had we not been taking a genome-wide approach," says Dr. Garraway.

Several tumors contained rearrangements disrupting the gene that codes for the protein CADM2, part of a family of proteins that prevent tumors from forming (known as "tumor suppressors"). Three samples
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Contact: Andrew Klein
ank2017@med.cornell.edu
212-821-0560
New York- Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center/Weill Cornell Medical College
Source:Eurekalert

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