Human Genome Research in the Fight Against Cancer

March 9, 2012


Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms: Slight variations in our DNA sequences can have a major impact on whether or not we develop a disease and on our particular responses to such environmental insults as bacteria, viruses, and toxins. Image from the Office of Biological and Environmental Research of the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science

BOSTON — How are advances in understanding the human genome leading to the development of more effective treatments for disease? John Quackenbush, professor at Harvard School of Public Health and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, explains how recent technology is providing new insight into the nature of tumors, and how to detect early warning signs of the gene mutations that lead to cancer.

Quackenbush also discusses the complexities of treating breast cancer that have been unearthed through genetic research: despite the fact that the cancer occurs in a specific body part, the role that specific genes play in causing the disease can be incredibly varied, resulting in the need for different kinds of treatment for different kinds of tumors. 

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Quackenbush's Book, The Human Genome
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