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New Study Highlights Utility of Mutation Testing in Anaplastic Thyroid Cancer

Mutations in two key oncogenes are associated with patient outcomes in anaplastic thyroid carcinoma (ATC), pointing to the utility of tumor mutation testing during treatment decision making for individuals with the disease, according to a new study appearing in JCO Precision Oncology this week. ATC, a rare but deadly form of thyroid cancer, has been shown to be genetically heterogenous, but the clinical significance of the cancer's different mutation profiles has not been closely examined. To do so, investigators from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center performed mutation sequencing using targeted gene panels on 202 ATC patients and find that the cancer can be divided into three subtypes based on mutually exclusive driver mutations in the genes BRAF and RAS. One of the subtypes is associated with the most aggressive form of ATC while another appears to be linked to the best patient outcomes, largely because it responds well to BRAF-directed treatment. The findings, the study's authors concludes, indicates that "comprehensive tumor mutation profiling should be obtained for patients with ATC as a part of the routine clinical workup at diagnosis."

The Scan

ChatGPT Does As Well As Humans Answering Genetics Questions, Study Finds

Researchers in the European Journal of Human Genetics had ChatGPT answer genetics-related questions, finding it was about 68 percent accurate, but sometimes gave different answers to the same question.

Sequencing Analysis Examines Gene Regulatory Networks of Honeybee Soldier, Forager Brains

Researchers in Nature Ecology & Evolution find gene regulatory network differences between soldiers and foragers, suggesting bees can take on either role.

Analysis of Ashkenazi Jewish Cohort Uncovers New Genetic Loci Linked to Alzheimer's Disease

The study in Alzheimer's & Dementia highlighted known genes, but also novel ones with biological ties to Alzheimer's disease.

Tara Pacific Expedition Project Team Finds High Diversity Within Coral Reef Microbiome

In papers appearing in Nature Communications and elsewhere, the team reports on findings from the two-year excursion examining coral reefs.