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Closest look yet at lung cancer genes

A large probe of lung tumors sheds light on the mutations that tend to underlie cancer

1:54pm, October 22, 2008

A comprehensive analysis increases from 10 to 26 the number of genes linked with lung cancer, the leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide. The new study also identifies new cellular pathways that can trigger these malignancies.

“This study gives us insights that we didn’t have before,” says oncologist Ramaswamy Govindan of Washington University in St. Louis, who was not involved in the study. “Lung cancer is many different things cobbled together,” he says. “Now we’re able to untangle the different types.”

Researchers at Washington University, Baylor College of Medicine in Houston and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard in Cambridge, Mass., have been collaborating on the Tumor Sequencing Project. These scientists analyzed DNA sequences from tumors in 188 people with adenocarcinoma, the most common form of lung cancer. Because of this large sample size, researchers had the statistical power needed not only to

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