Mapping mutations in breast cancer – In the News

An international team of researchers have produced the most comprehensive map to date of the genetic changes leading to breast cancer, publishing their results today in the journals Nature and Nature Communications.

The researchers sequenced the DNA of tumours and normal tissue from 560 breast cancer patients to identify mutations in 93 genes, moving us closer to a more complete account of the genetic basis of developing breast cancer.

“Unpicking the genetic variations between cancers is crucial to developing improved therapies,” says author Professor Sir Mike Stratton, Director of the Sanger Institute. “This huge study, the largest of any one cancer type to date, gives insights into which genetic variations exist, and where they are in the genome. This has implications for other types of cancer, too. The study itself shows it is possible to sequence individual cancer genomes and this should lead to benefits for patients in the long term.”

Read more about the research on

National and international coverage of the research includes:

RNZ: Scientists hail ‘complete view’ of breast cancer
Daily Mail: Breast cancer breakthrough: Scientists uncover details of genetic events that cause it
The Independent: Breast cancer treatment breakthrough after ‘milestone’ genetic discovery
BBC News: Breast cancer: Scientists hail ‘milestone’ genetic find
TIME: Personalized Breast Cancer Treatment Gets Closer to Reality