Elisabeth Manville
Jan 24, 2012

Can patterns of chromosomal abnormalities bring researchers one step closer to understanding cancer?

Researchers at Tel Aviv University have found evidence of losses and gains of chromosomal pairs across various cancer types that may help in understanding the nature of cancer. Chromosomal changes occur as cancer progresses and specific types of cancer can even be identified and diagnosed by examining these changes. The researchers were also able to examine the specific effects of losses or gains of chromosomes across different types of cancer and how they are related. As evidenced by Down’s Syndrome, which is caused by an extra copy of one chromosome, small chromosomal abnormalities can be devastating to a person’s health. "But in cancer, there are many cases of extra or missing chromosomes. Yet cancer cells thrive more effectively than other cells," explains Professor Ron Shamir, who led the study. Understanding these chromosomal patterns could greatly help in comprehending the nature of cancer.