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New Technique Can Find Noncoding Cancer Drivers

By Anette Breindl
Science Editor

Friday, October 4, 2013

An American-British team has developed a method for assessing how important mutations in specific noncoding regions of the genome are likely to be, and used it to look at nearly 100 cancer genomes to identify likely driver mutations in noncoding locations. They published their results in the Oct. 4, 2013, issue of Science. Interpreting the meaning of a mutation in a protein-coding sequence is hard enough. Even within the poster children of genetic risk, BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, somewhere around 10 percent of mutations are “variants of unknown significance” that may or may not raise cancer risk.

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