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NCI Cancer Center News

Researchers discover new mutations driving malignant melanoma

  • Posted: January 25, 2013

Two new mutations that collectively occur in 71 percent of malignant melanoma tumors have been discovered in what scientists call the "dark matter" of the cancer genome, where cancer-related mutations haven't been previously found. Reporting their findings in the Jan. 24 issue of Science Express, the researchers from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Broad Institute said the highly "recurrent" mutations – occurring in the tumors of many people – may be the most common mutations in melanoma cells found to date.

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Among the research institutions NCI funds across the United States, it currently designates 67 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.