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Scientists Decoding Breast Cancer Genomes

April 15, 2010

Scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis are getting an unprecedented look at the genetic basis of a highly lethal breast cancer that disproportionately affects young women and those who are African-American. They have decoded the genome of an African-American woman with a “triple-negative” breast tumor, along with the genomes of her breast tumor and a tumor that spread to her brain. By comparing the three genomes, they identified the mutations in the primary breast tumor that likely drove the metastasis. By sequencing additional genomes of breast cancer patients with the same type of breast cancer, the researchers hope to develop a genetic profile for these tumors that can lead to more effective, targeted treatments. Credit: Washington University in St. Louis



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