Using data from more than 10,000 people with cancer, research looks at mutations in the tumor protein p53 to better predict a person’s outlook.
The TP53 gene is responsible for encoding what scientists call tumor protein p53 — a tumor suppressor that can stop cells from dividing and proliferating too fast.
Researchers have dubbed TP53 the “guardian of the genome” because of its crucial role in preventing tumors and keeping cellular division in check.
Human cancers frequently feature mutations in the TP53 gene, causing one of the critical defensive mechanisms against cancer to fail.
The first studies that identified TP53 mutations in human cancers appeared in the 1980s and, since then, researchers have dedicated a great deal of time and resources into clarifying its role in cancer.
Now, the largest study of its kind uses tumor samples from over 10,000 cancer patients and looks at 32 different types of cancer to better understand the role of TP53.
Dr. Larry Donehower, a professor of molecular virology and microbiology at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, TX, led the new research, which appears in the journal Cell Reports.
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