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DNA flaws can stack up as cancer grows

Acute myeloid leukemia appears to progress by accumulating mutations

VANCOUVER — As a man’s cells grew cancerous, a wide range of mutations gradually emerged too, a new gene sequencing study finds. The results provide a deep understanding of the genetic changes that allowed an aggressive form of leukemia to set in and take hold in one patient, Elaine Mardis of Washington University in St. Louis said in a March 28 presentation at the annual conference on Research in Computational Molecular Biology.

“Cancers’ origins lie in the genome,” Mardis said. “These genetic approaches are really addressing the underlying questions of cancer biology.”

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