A survey of a single human gene family has revealed more than 150 new mutations that can help trigger cancer, according to a study led by scientists at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute that appears today (March 7) in Nature. The team sequenced all known protein kinase genes in 210 cancer samples, yielding a total of 1,000 mutations, then used statistical analyses to identify 158 cancer-promoting mutations in 119 genes, most of which had never before linked to cancer, said last author Mike Stratton, leader of the Sanger Institute's Cancer Genome Project, during a conference call with reporters this week. The cancer research community has identified a total of about 350 cancer genes, not including the genes discovered in this study, he said.The results far exceeded the authors' predictions, Andrew Futreal, a senior author of the paper and a researcher at the Cancer Genome Project, said during the call....

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