Here’s some good news from the fine people trying to uncover the mysteries behind all sorts of cancers.
Researchers have mapped the DNA mutations in skin and lung cancer — findings that one researcher says will change how cancer is viewed.
For lung cancer, the British team found almost 23,000 mutations — one mutation for every 15 cigarettes smoked.
“This is a fundamental moment in cancer research,” said Prof. Michael Stratton from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in Cambridge. “From here on in we will think about cancers in a very different way.”
Scientists knew that smoking causes genetic mutations than can start tumours. But they didn’t expect to see evidence of the genome bearing scars of every cigarette smoked. When they catalogued the mutations, they saw how cancer-causing agents in tobacco repeatedly bombard the DNA.