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The Whole Enchilada

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Researchers at the Broad Institute and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute have uncovered the most complete multiple myeloma genome to date, according to a Broad press release. The researchers sequenced 38 cancer samples for their study, which appears in Nature, and the result unveils genes that have never before been associated with cancer as well as new mutations or triggers for cancer development that could lead to new avenues for study or possibly new treatments, the Broad release says. One finding of immediate clinical importance is the discovery of mutations in the BRAF gene in some multiple myeloma patients — something that has never been seen with this disease before, but is known to be active in other cancers like melanoma and colon cancer. Drugs are now being tested to target BRAF mutations in patients with melanoma and, although further studies are needed, drugs that inhibit BRAF could also be effective in patients with multiple myeloma, the Broad release adds.

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