Depressing New Information about Cancer Cells
Researchers scanned the DNA of 200 samples of tumor cells carrying several different types of cancer. While they expected to find a handful of cancer genes, they may have found more than 100 new cancer genes.
There were over 1000 different mutations found. Lung cancer had the most mutations while testicular and breast cancers had very few.
From the mutations, scientists can get a clearer picture of the progression of cancer in each cell. They label cancer mutations as "driver" mutations which are the catalysts that turn the cell into a cancer cell and "passenger" mutations which aren't involved in causing the cell to become cancerous.
The large number of unexpected mutations means that scientists are further than they thought from figuring out every detail of cancer. Now they will begin the daunting task of recording every little detail of each mutation found.