Saturday, March 11, 2006

 

New View of Cancer: Epigenetic Changes Come Before Mutation

"A Johns Hopkins researcher, with colleagues in Sweden and at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, suggests that the traditional view of cancer as a group of diseases with markedly different biological properties arising from a series of alterations within a cell's nuclear DNA may have to give way to a more complicated view. In the January issue of Nature Reviews Genetics he and his colleagues suggest that cancers instead begin with 'epigenetic' alterations to stem cells.

'We are not contradicting the view that genetic changes occur in the development of cancers, but there also are epigenetic changes and those come first,' says lead author Andrew Feinberg, M.D., M.P.H., King Fahd Professor of Medicine and director of the Center for Epigenetics in Common Human Disease at Johns Hopkins."

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