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Scientists have begun to reveal the order of the genetic aberrations in individual cancers in a finding they say is key to early diagnosis and personalized medicine.
"We know that each cancer is a collection of genetic malfunctions," said Raymond Cho, Ph.D., an assistant clinical professor in the department of dermatology at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). "We now show it is possible to determine which changes happen earlier and which ones happen further down the road, even in a single cancer."
According to the study, the ability to identify the actual sequence of mutations will help scientists to determine which mutations lead to precancerous lesions and which produce invasive carcinomas.