January 14, 2011
Universal Marker for Tumor Cells?
Jocelyn Kaiser, Science Now
Cancer researchers have discovered a new genetic abnormality in tumor cells that sets them apart from normal cells. In mice and humans, cancer cells cranked out large amounts of a specific type of RNA that had been ignored until now. The discovery could shed light on how cancer develops, and it could give pathologists a new marker for detecting cancerous cells in a biopsy.
Postdoctoral researcher David Ting and colleagues in the lab of cancer geneticist Daniel Haber of Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston found their new marker by using a next-generation sequencing machine to measure the RNA molecules, or transcripts, that are encoded by a cancer cell's DNA. Unlike traditional microarrays dotted with DNA probes that measure the activity of a subset of a cell's...
TAGGED: satellite DNA, cellular biology, cancer, RNA