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Study cracks genetic code of prostate cancer
Researchers from the Dana Farber Cancer institute have successfully sequenced the entire genome of prostate cancer cells. The findings could provide tremendous insights into the nature of the disease, which could improve doctors' ability to treat prostate cancer in men who have received positive PSA tests.
The achievement marks the first time that the entire genome of the cancer cells has been sequenced. Earlier efforts have succeeded only in mapping certain segments of DNA. The researchers said that understanding the complete genetic structure of tumors could drastically improve their knowledge of how to fight the disease.
For example, the team found that prostate cancer relies on large scale genetic rearrangements of normal DNA material. These rearrangements interfere with normal processes of cell growth and death, which ultimately enable the spread of cancer cells.
The researchers said that insights such as this could lead to the development of new medications that attack the disease at the molecular level. Additionally, it may become easier to identify whether a growth will become malignant or remain benign in men who have received positive PSA tests.
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