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Cancer Characterization

The Cancer Genome Atlas team reports in Nature on its study of 178 lung squamous cell carcinomas in which it found that such tumors are marked by complex genomic changes like rearrangements and copy number alterations. The TCGA team also notes that it found recurrent mutations in most samples, including TP53 mutations, and a number of pathways that are affected by those mutations. Further, the team reports that, for most tumors, it could identify potential therapeutic targets.

As The New York Times' Gina Kolata notes, the study found that different patients with lung squamous cell carcinoma had different mutations, indicating that personalized therapies may be needed to treat the cancer. "Unfortunately, what the Cancer Genome Atlas has revealed is that everyone's cancer could be very different," says William Pao, from the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center in Nashville and an author of the new paper, in the Times. "The field is really moving toward personalized medicine."

Our sister publication GenomeWeb Daily News has more on the study here.

The Scan

Wolf Howl Responses Offer Look at Vocal Behavior-Related Selection in Dogs

In dozens of domestic dogs listening to wolf vocalizations, researchers in Communication Biology see responses varying with age, sex, reproductive status, and a breed's evolutionary distance from wolves.

Facial Imaging-Based Genetic Diagnoses Appears to Get Boost With Three-Dimensional Approach

With data for more than 1,900 individuals affected by a range of genetic conditions, researchers compared facial phenotype-based diagnoses informed by 2D or 3D images in the European Journal of Human Genetics.

Survey Suggests Multigene Cancer Panel VUS Reporting May Vary Across Genetic Counselors

Investigators surveyed dozens of genetic counselors working in clinical or laboratory settings, uncovering attitudes around VUS reporting after multigene cancer panel testing in the Journal of Genetic Counseling.

Study Points to Tuberculosis Protection by Gaucher Disease Mutation

A mutation linked to Gaucher disease in the Ashkenazi Jewish population appears to boost Mycobacterium tuberculosis resistance in a zebrafish model of the lysosomal storage condition, a new PNAS study finds.