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Washington University study finds hundreds of random mutations in leukemia related to aging, not cancer

  • Posted: July 20, 2012

Hundreds of mutations exist in leukemia cells at the time of diagnosis, but nearly all occur randomly as a part of normal aging and are not related to cancer, new research shows. Scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have found that even in healthy people, stem cells in the blood routinely accumulate new mutations over the course of a person’s lifetime. And their research shows that in many cases only two or three additional genetic changes are required to transform a normal blood cell already dotted with mutations into acute myeloid leukemia (AML). The research is published July 20 in the journal Cell. Washington University School of Medicine is home to the Siteman Cancer Center.

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NCI comprehensive cancer centers logoAmong 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.

 

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