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Hundreds of random mutations in leukemia linked to aging, not cancer
Date:7/19/2012

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By sequencing the genomes of the AML patients, the researchers also were able to identify 13 novel "driver" mutations that are likely to be important for leukemia to develop in other patients. They also identified a number of additional cooperating mutations that work together with the driver mutations to give blood stem cells a growth advantage over other cells. In many patients, it appeared that in addition to an initiating driver mutation, only a one or two additional cooperating mutations were important for cancer to occur.

While the findings are important to leukemia, they may also hold true for other cancers.

"Our study does not provide proof that this model applies to other cancers," says corresponding author Timothy Ley, MD, professor of medicine and of genetics. "But this research suggests that scientists should look. This model could explain the large numbers of mutations we and other researchers are finding in breast, lung and other cancers. The idea that the vast majority of mutations occur in a cell before it becomes cancer is completely novel and should be explored further."


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Contact: Caroline Arbanas
arbanasc@wustl.edu
314-286-0109
Washington University School of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert  

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