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Breast cancer is 'a family of diseases'.

BREAST cancer is not one condition but a family of diseases with strikingly different genetic profiles, a new study has shown.

Scientists who carried out a detailed study of DNA from 24 breast tumours were astonished by the extent of the damage they found and its diversity.

In some samples, the "genome" or genetic code was highly fractured and reassembled, with many sections deleted, duplicated and reshuffled.

Tumours from other patients, in contrast, contained DNA that was relatively undisturbed.

Professor Mike Stratton, from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, in Hinxton, Cambridgeshire, who led the study, said: "We have looked at the level of the DNA sequence at just how splintered and reorganised the genome is in many breast cancers. We were, frankly, astounded at the number and complexity of rearrangements in some cancers.

"Just as important, the genomes were different from each other, with multiple distinctive patterns of rearrangement observed, supporting the view that breast cancer is not one, but several diseases."
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Dec 24, 2009
Words:162
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