The relationship between cancer and genetics.
What happens when a precancerous growth turns from a benign cluster of abnormal cells to a full-blown disease? Researchers are turning to genome sequencing in an effort to find out.
The NCI project, which is part of the National Cancer Moonshot Initiative, is not the first research to home-in on this stage in the development of cancer. Last week, three non-profits—Stand Up To Cancer, the American Lung Association, and LUNGevity—announced a new four-year, $5 million effort to sequence the DNA from precancerous growths in the body’s airway, tracking changes in them over time. The project hopes to come up with new diagnostic tools to identify whether lung abnormalities found on chest imaging are cancerous as early as possible.
At this point, little is still known about what happens in the early stages of a disease that pushes a growth over the edge to become cancer. At the same time, advancements in DNA sequencing mean that with tiny tissue samples taken from patients, researchers may gain useful data that can shed light on those early stages of disease. And the earlier cancer is identified, the more hope there is that doctors may be able to treat it.
Read full article: What Genetics Could Tell Us About How Cancer Develops
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