New method of pinpointing cancer mutations could lead to more targeted treatments
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IMAGE: Salk Institute researcher Jesse Dixon and collaborators develop approach to yield more complete picture of cancer. Jesse Dixon is pictured. view more 

Credit: Salk Institute

LA JOLLA–(September 11, 2018) Cancer cells often have mutations in their DNA that can give scientists clues about how the cancer started or which treatment may be most effective. Finding these mutations can be difficult, but a new method may offer more complete, comprehensive results.

A team of researchers has developed a new framework that can combine three existing methods of finding these large mutations–called structural variants–into a single, more complete picture. The new method–published in Nature Genetics on September 10, 2018–could help researchers find new structural variations within cancer cell DNA and learn more about how those cancers begin.

“We were able to design and use this computational framework to connect the three methods together, to get the most comprehensive view of the genome,” says Feng Yue, assistant professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at the Pennsylvania State University and one of the paper’s corresponding authors. “Each method by itself can only review a portion of the structural variations, but when you integrate the results of the three different methods, you can

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