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San Diego Researchers Help Sequence Lung Cancer Genome

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Scientists at San Diego-based Life Technologies have co-authored a study that reveals the genome of lung cancer.

Scientists at San Diego-based Life Technologies have co-authored a study that reveals the genome of lung cancer.

Lung cancer is the most common cause of cancer death worldwide. It, like all cancers, is driven by gene mutations. The study published in the journal "Nature" identified many mutations, caused by cigarette smoke, including ones that deactivate genes that suppress cancer tumors. Michael Rhodes, of Life Technologies, said the more mutations that occur the more likely a person is to get cancer.

"Turns out you're getting about one mutation every fifteen cigarettes," he said. "That really means every time you smoke a pack of cigarettes you get a mutation."

Rhodes said lung cancers need to be sequenced in more individuals before treatments can be developed. Rhodes co-wrote the study with researchers at Britain's Sanger Institute.

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