Genes that promote cancer

American and German scientists have gedentificeerd 26 genes that when damaged can promote lung cancer. That's more than double the number currently known genes involved in lung cancer. The study is seen as a step in the right direction of developing new treatments for certain patients.
The publicly funded research was the largest ever to the mutations of genes in the most common form of lung cancer, adenocarcinoma. The findings of scientists from dozens of universities in Germany and the United States appear in the latest issue of the scientific journal Nature.

The study focused on resected lung tumors. But researchers hope that new research proves that the mutations in the genes from these tumors also occur in lung tumors that spread to other parts of the body.

Of 188 tumors, the composition of 623 genes examined to see which were most often mutated. The idea was that if a mutated gene in many tumors occur, it probably plays a role in the development of the disease. It was clear that the mutated genes in the tumors were caused because they did not appear in healthy tissue from patients.

The newly acquired knowledge seems to indicate that drugs already used for other purposes or that may be considered useful for patients whose tumors show certain mutations. In a broader context, the knowledge of the genes that develop lung cancer, the deadliest form of cancer in the world, contribute to the development of new therapies and ultimately to tailored therapies for specific mutations in a tumor.