Dana-Farber Cancer Institute researchers identify genetic mutation responsible for most cases of a rare lymphoma:
NCI Cancer Center News
Scientists at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute have identified a gene mutation that underlies the vast majority of cases of Waldenström’s macroglobulinemia, a rare form of lymphoma that has eluded all previous efforts to find a genetic cause. The research, presented at the American Society of Hematology’s 2011 annual meeting, points to an error in a single digit of DNA – one of three billion letters in the human genetic code – as the leading culprit in Waldenström’s, and a prime target for new therapies against the disease. The discovery was made by sequencing the genome of tumor cells in Waldenström’s patients, reading the cells’ DNA letter by letter, and seeing where it differed from that of the patients’ normal cells.
Among the research institutions NCI funds across the United States, it currently designates 66 as Cancer Centers. Largely based in research universities, these facilities are home to many of the NCI-supported scientists who conduct a wide range of intense, laboratory research into cancer’s origins and development. The Cancer Centers Program also focuses on trans-disciplinary research, including population science and clinical research. The centers’ research results are often at the forefront of studies in the cancer field.