An individual cancer genome has been sequenced for the first time, identifying mutated genes that probably have a role in the development of acute myeloid leukaemia. The high-throughput sequencing technique, described in Nature, could be applied to other cancers and aid the design of targeted therapeutics.
Acute myeloid leukaemia is a white blood cell cancer that affects around 13,000 adults yearly in the United States alone, killing about one-third. Elaine Mardis and colleagues sequenced cancerous and normal tissue from a patient with acute myeloid leukaemia, and then compared the two sequences. Ten mutated genes were identified. Of these, two were previously reported to be associated with acute myeloid leukaemia whereas the others probably represent new genes that are involved in the development of the disease.
Elaine Mardis (Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO, USA)
(C) Nature press release.
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