Genes that cause pancreatic cancer identified by new tool

*credit verbatim via Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute*

Genes that cause pancreatic cancer identified by new tool

A technique that can identify causes of cancer invisible to genetic sequencing has uncovered large sets of previously unknown pancreatic cancer genes. It is hoped that this study will boost research into a disease that is still poorly understood and for which five-year survival rates have stood at around 5 per cent for the past four decades.

The technique works by introducing sections of DNA called piggyBac transposons into the mouse genome. Transposons jump around within the genome, reinserting themselves at random and causing a different mutation in each cell of the mouse. This triggers cancer development, and tracking the transposon’s fingerprints in the tumours allows discovery of the affected cancer-causing genes. The PiggyBac tool was engineered for the first time to allow cancer induction in individual tissues within the mouse, and the method can now be used to study any type of cancer.

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*credit verbatim via Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute*

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