Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Nine new breast cancer risk genes: Landscape of cancer genes and mutational processes in breast cancer complicated

Date:
May 16, 2012
Source:
Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute
Summary:
Researchers have described nine new genes that drive the development of breast cancer. This takes the tally of all genes associated with breast cancer development to 40.

In a study published May 16 in Nature, researchers describe nine new genes that drive the development of breast cancer. This takes the tally of all genes associated with breast cancer development to 40.
Credit: © mangostock / Fotolia

In a study published May 16 in Nature, researchers describe nine new genes that drive the development of breast cancer. This takes the tally of all genes associated with breast cancer development to 40.

The team examined all the genes in the genomes of 100 cases of breast cancer. The mutated cancer-causing genes were different in different cancer samples, indicating that breast cancer is genetically very diverse. Understanding the consequences of this diversity will be important in progressing towards more rational treatment.

Changes to DNA lie behind all cases of cancer. Cancer develops as a result of mutations -- called somatic mutations -- that are acquired during a person's lifetime. Driver mutations, which occur in cancer genes, are a small subset of somatic mutations that drive the development of cancer.

"Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women," explains Dr Patrick Tarpey, first author from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute. "To identify new cancer genes that lead to the development of breast cancer, we searched for driver mutations in over 21,000 genes, and found evidence for nine new cancer genes involved in the development of this cancer."

These genome analyses provide a direct survey of the landscape of driver mutations in breast cancer. The team found driver mutations were present in at least 40 different cancer genes. Most individual cancers had different combinations of mutated cancer genes, demonstrating the substantial genetic diversity in breast cancer.

"In 28 cases we found only a single driver, but the maximum number of driver mutations in an individual cancer was six," says Professor Mike Stratton, lead author and Director of the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute. "We found that breast cancer can be caused by more than 70 different combinations of mutations.

"If we consider three breast cancers, each with four driver mutations: they might share none of those driver mutations -- so each is a different genetic 'animal'. They are different cancers driven by different genes. We need to classify them as carefully as we can. This study is a step towards that goal."

"One of the most striking things about breast cancer is how it progresses differently in each patient and how each patient responds differently to therapy," explains Dr Andy Futreal, until recently, Head of Cancer Genomics at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and currently an Honorary Faculty Member at the Institute. "Our results can help us to understand these differences."

Our genomes are scarred by decades of continual assault that leave mutations scattered though our DNA. This is the most comprehensive study thus far of mutations in breast cancers, discovering nine new mutated genes that cause breast cancer, and revealing the full diversity of the driving events that convert normal breast cells into breast cancers.

"The picture is certainly more complicated than we would have wanted, but as with many other things knowledge is our strongest weapon. These comprehensive insights reveal the faulty wiring of the cellular circuit board that causes cells to behave as cancers. Understanding our enemy at this level of detail will allow us to take more rational approaches to therapy, to understand why some cancers respond to drugs and others do not, and direct us to new vulnerabilities to be exploited in new treatments," adds Professor Stratton.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Philip J. Stephens, Patrick S. Tarpey, Helen Davies, Peter Van Loo, Chris Greenman, David C. Wedge, Serena Nik Zainal, Sancha Martin, Ignacio Varela, Graham R. Bignell, Lucy R. Yates, Elli Papaemmanuil, David Beare, Adam Butler, Angela Cheverton, John Gamble, Jonathan Hinton, Mingming Jia, Alagu Jayakumar, David Jones, Calli Latimer, King Wai Lau, Stuart McLaren, David J. McBride, Andrew Menzies, Laura Mudie, Keiran Raine, Roland Rad, Michael Spencer Chapman, Jon Teague, Douglas Easton, Anita Langerψd, OSBREAC, Ming Ta Michael Lee, Chen-Yang Shen, Benita Tan Kiat Tee, Bernice Wong Huimin, Annegien Broeks, Ana Cristina Vargas, Gulisa Turashvili, John Martens, Aquila Fatima, Penelope Miron, Suet-Feung Chin, Gilles Thomas, Sandrine Boyault, Odette Mariani, Sunil R. Lakhani, Marc van de Vijver, Laura van ‘t Veer, John Foekens, Christine Desmedt, Christos Sotiriou, Andrew Tutt, Carlos Caldas, Jorge S. Reis-Filho, Samuel A. J. R. Aparicio, Anne Vincent Salomon, Anne-Lise Bψrresen-Dale, Andrea Richardson, Peter J. Campbell, P. Andrew Futreal, Michael R. Stratton, Rolf Karesen, Ellen Schlichting, Bjorn Naume, Torill Sauer, Lars Ottestad. The landscape of cancer genes and mutational processes in breast cancer. Nature, 2012; DOI: 10.1038/nature11017

Cite This Page:

Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute. "Nine new breast cancer risk genes: Landscape of cancer genes and mutational processes in breast cancer complicated." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 May 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120516152349.htm>.
Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute. (2012, May 16). Nine new breast cancer risk genes: Landscape of cancer genes and mutational processes in breast cancer complicated. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120516152349.htm
Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute. "Nine new breast cancer risk genes: Landscape of cancer genes and mutational processes in breast cancer complicated." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120516152349.htm (accessed September 21, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Newsy (Sep. 20, 2014) — Sierra Leone is locked down as aid workers and volunteers look for new cases of Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) — A study suggest antidepressants can kick in much sooner than previously thought. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) — The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

AP (Sep. 19, 2014) — A federal jury has convicted three people in connection with an outbreak of salmonella poisoning five years ago that sickened hundreds of people and was linked to a number of deaths. (Sept. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins