Know your enemy: unlocking the secrets of the tumour genome
From Peter Crooks
Charlie Gourley: Nicola Murray Centre for Ovarian Cancer Research & Colin Semple: Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine
It has long been known that as cancer cells grow and evolve they accumulate mutations, or changes in their DNA. We are now in the golden age of cancer genomics, where technological advances mean we can study these changes in detail across the entire human genome, that is, all the DNA in a human cell. Recent work involving clinicians and computer scientists has revealed that the mutations seen in the genome of a tumour provides valuable clues to its origins, and reveal the secrets of its evolution from a single malignant cell. It has become clear that every patient's tumour carries a unique spectrum of mutations, but when hundreds or thousands of tumours are examined, recurring patterns begin to emerge. More importantly these patterns can indicate biological weaknesses in a tumour and suggest successful treatments. Join us to hear about the efforts going on in Edinburgh to use this new knowledge to tackle cancer.