The genetic code of one of the most deadly cancers has been mapped by scientists for the first time in a breakthrough that could "transform" our understanding of the disease.
By Richard Alleyne, Science Correspondent, 09 Feb 2011:
Dr Mike Berger, lead author at the Broad Institute at MIT and Harvard, said: "This is a transforming moment in understanding the underlying biology of prostate cancer.
"It offers the potential of new targets for treatment and earlier diagnosis of the more aggressive strains of the disease."
Dr Berger and colleagues sequenced the genomes of seven different prostate cancer tumours and compared them to healthy tissues to find where they had been damaged or mutated.
They found more than 21,000 mutations – like spelling mistakes – in the seven tumours as well as more than a 100 "rearrangements" where whole sections of DNA have broken free and reattached to other parts of the genome.
Most of these alterations to the normal genome are known as "passengers" and cause damage but not cancer.
However a small number are called "drivers" and these lead to the disease. Read more>>