The earliest critical genetic changes that can lead to kidney cancer have been mapped by scientists. The first key genetic change occurs in childhood or adolescence, and the resulting cells follow a consistent path to progress into kidney cancer four or five decades later, scientists from the Wellcome Sanger Institute, Francis Crick Institute and their collaborators have found.
The results, reported today (12 April) in Cell, suggest that whilst most of us carry these ‘kick-starter’ cells, they will not develop into cancer unless triggered by further mutations. The insights from this study present an opportunity to develop approaches for early detection and early intervention in kidney cancer, particularly in high-risk groups such as those with an inherited risk of the disease.
Kidney cancer was the seventh most common cancer in adults in the UK in 2014, with 12,500 new cases. Treatment options for the cancer include surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
To understand more about what kick starts kidney cancer, scientists used genomic archaeology techniques to dig into the genomes of kidney tumours and reconstruct the first genetic changes that take place.
Researchers from the Wellcome Sanger Institute, Francis Crick Institute and their collaborators sequenced and analysed the whole genomes of 95 kidney cancer tumours
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