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Category: Cancer Detection and Tumor Markers
Scientists from the UK have catalogued the genetic codes of skin and lung cancer, potentially leading to improvements in diagnostic testing and treatment of the life-threatening diseases.
Researchers from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute sought to pinpoint the specific genetic mutations within DNA that can produce harmful tumors, CNNHealth.com reports.
"The knowledge we extract over the next few years will have major implications for treatment," said Peter Campbell of the Wellcome Institute.
He added, "By identifying all the cancer genes we will be able to develop new drugs that target the specific mutated genes and work out which patients will benefit from these novel treatments."
The research team concluded that the DNA code for skin cancer contained about 30,000 genetic mutations and the lung cancer genetic map contained more than 23,000 errors.
According to doctors from the Cancer Genome Project, skin and lung cancers are the two types of the disease for which exposure - to sunlight and cigarette smoke, respectively - is a leading cause.
By cataloging the genetic map of lung cancer, the Wellcome researchers concluded that one genetic error occurs for about every 15 cigarettes smoked.
According to the American Heart Association, about 24 percent of U.S. men and 18 percent of U.S. women are smokers.
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