Genetic breakthrough hails new cancer research era
By RICHARD ALLEYNE - TELEGRAPH.CO.UK
Added: Wed, 16 Dec 2009 00:00:00 UTC
Thanks to Rawhard Dickins for the link.
All the mutations that turn healthy cells cancerous in both lung and skin tumours have been identified in what researchers described as a "transforming moment" in the search for preventions, treatments and cures for both terminal illnesses.
Such a detailed picture of the fundamental causes of the disease will lead to earlier detection, new breeds of drugs and better understanding of what causes the disease, they claim.
Eventually a simple blood test will lead to accurate "made to measure" treatments that can identify, attack and kill the causes of each patient's own individual cancer, they claim.
Professor Mike Stratton, of the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, a world leading research centre in Cambridge who carried the studies, said: "What you are seeing today is going to transform the way that we see cancer.
"This is a really fundamental moment in the history of cancer research."
All cancers are caused by damage or mutations to the DNA of formerly healthy cells acquired during a personâs lifetime.
This damage causes them to grow into abnormal lumps or tumours and spread around the body disrupting its normal processes and eventually – if unchecked – causing death.
In lung cancer the damage is almost entirely caused by smoking and in skin cancer or malignant melanoma by ultra violent sunlight.
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