Université Libre de Bruxelles' David Venet and his colleagues found that random gene sets can predict breast cancer survival better than published breast cancer signatures, reports Ed Yong at Naturally Selected. "The results may seem unbelievable, but there is a simple reason for them," Yong says. "The activities of thousands of genes across a breast cancer cell's genome are related to how quickly that cell proliferates (grows and divides). And that is related to a patient's prognosis." While the signatures may not help in understanding cancer's cause, the researchers add that they still help clinicians determine prognosis.
The study was published in PLoS Computational Biology.