Cancer genomes

There was a BBC article recently which highlighted lung cancer and melanoma sequencing experiments by teams led by the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute. The summaries at Sanger are good introductions on how mutations accumulate in tumor cells.  They include a graphic of the two cancer genomes (lung at top, melanoma on bottom) and the different kinds of mutations involved:

From outside to inside: insertions or deletions (green); coding substitutions as numbers per 10 million (orange charts); coding substitutions (grey, purple, red and black marks); copy number (blue); deletions (red); rearrangements (green or purple)

“Nearly ten years on, we are still reaping the benefit from the first human genome sequence and we have much still to do to get to grips with these new disrupted landscapes of cancer genomes,” explains Dr Peter Campbell from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute. “But the knowledge we extract over the next few years will have major implications for treatment. By identifying all the cancer genes we will be able to develop new drugs that target the specific mutated genes and work out which patients will benefit from these novel treatments.”

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