Bowel cancer cells missing one of three genes can rapidly reshuffle their genetic ‘pack of cards’ – the chromosomes that hold the cell’s genetic information. This reshuffling has been previously shown to render tumours more resistant to treatment.
Cancer Research UK scientists have discovered that this genetic ‘card
trick’ can be caused by the deletion of three genes found on one
particular chromosome, a region known as ‘18q’.
Loss of this region is well-known in bowel cancer and the new findings help shed light on the role it plays.
The research is published in Nature today (Wednesday)1.
Normal human cells have 46 chromosomes, each of which is a long
string of DNA. But in certain bowel cancers, this number can change over
time - a process called chromosomal instability. This makes the cells in a tumour incredibly diverse, and helps it become resistant to treatment.
Patients whose bowel cancer cells contain particularly unstable chromosomes are known to do worse.
Read More - http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/cancer-info/news/archive/pressrelease/2013-02-27-cancers-reshuffle-genetic-pack