Cancer variants found in ‘neglected’ region of genome | Science News

Be a Champion for Science

Get your subscription to

Science News when you join.


Cancer variants found in ‘neglected’ region of genome

Mutations outside of genes associated with disease

2:01pm, October 3, 2013

Parts of human DNA that do not contain genes but instead turn them on and off may be just as vulnerable to cancer-causing mutations as protein-producing genes are, a new study finds.

Using computer programs to comb through the DNA of 88 cancer patients, researchers identified 98 mutations in gene-regulating parts of the genome that may be causing the patients’ breast, prostate or brain tumors, the team reports in the Oct. 4 Science.

The findings may help researchers better understand which genetic alterations lead to disease and which are harmless. “It helps to clarify a confusing question in human variation: What variants are important?” says Douglas Levine, a surgeon at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City who was not involved with the work.

This article is available only to subscribing members. Join the Society today or Log in.

Get Science News headlines by e-mail.

More from the Science News Archives