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Sequenced and Mapped

Australian researchers have sequenced and mapped the genome of a prostate cancer tumor to find higher numbers of rearrangements than expected, the Australian Financial Review reports.

Researchers led by Vanessa Hayes at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research combined next-generation sequencing and genome mapping to analyzed a high-grade prostate cancer tumor and matched normal tissue from a man of European descent. As they report in Oncotarget, the researchers uncovered 85 large somatic structural rearrangements and 6,172 smaller somatic variants. Most of these structural variants — some 89 percent — couldn't be detected from sequencing data alone, the researchers add.

Hayes tells the Financial Review next-generation mapping enabled them to identify these large-scale rearrangements, while whole-genome sequencing then allowed them to uncover the genes the rearrangements affected. Those genes included a number of cancer-promoting genes.

"Whole-genome sequencing opened a huge number of doors for our understanding of prostate cancer — next-generation mapping just doubled the number of doors," Hayes says.