Discovery underscores how understanding the abnormalities that develop in the beginning stages of cancer can identify the root causes of the disease.
The study’s findings, which are published in the July edition of Cancer Discovery, are the result of a collaboration of scientists at the Oregon Health & Science University Knight Cancer Institute; the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the University of California, San Francisco; and the Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology.
The researchers focused on assessing mutations involving TP53, a gene that normally prevents cells from becoming cancerous. By examining how additional copies of the mutant gene accumulated, they found that changes in TP53 occurred earlier in the disease’s progression than previously believed.
Cancers are the result of multiple mutations, but the ones that happen first set the stage for additional abnormalities.
- The full OHSU media release is available online