Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center scientists have studied the vast majority of protein-coding genes, which now suggest a landscape dominated by genes that each are mutated in relatively few cancers. Their report, published online in Science Express, indicates that while little is known about these less-commonly mutated genes, they can be grouped into clusters according to their pathways.
In a systematic search of 18,191 genes representing more than 90 percent of the protein-coding genes in the human genome—about 5,000 more than in the first screen—Johns Hopkins scientists found that most cancer-causing gene mutations are quite diverse and can vary from person to person. They found that an average of 77 genes are mutated in an individual colon cancer and 81 in breast cancer. Of these, about 15 are likely to contribute to a cancer’s key characteristics, and most of these genes may be different for each patient.
This article was published in G & P magazine: Vol. 7, No. 11, November, 2007, pp. G10.
Filed Under: Genomics/Proteomics