Random Errors in DNA Replication Play Major Role in Cancer
by maxime_lav on October 31, 2017 - 10:23am
Briefly, human cancer is traditionally known to occur from heredity or environmental sources, but researchers found errors in the DNA replication of many healthy cells that has an effect on cancer and they called that factor ‘’R’’ or random mutations. Senior author Bert Vogelstein, co-director of the Ludwig Center at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center said that cancer often strikes people who have very healthy lifestyles and he hope that the research concerning this factor help answering questions of patients in this situation. Cristian Tomasetti, assistant professor of biostatistics at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and Vogelstein explained in a Science paper in 2015 that these replication errors explain the dramatic variation in cancer incidence among human tissues better than hereditary or environmental factors. In a new study, both men asked themselves a new question: What fraction of cancer mutations is due to R mutations? The answer to this is that for 32 cancers they analyzed, two-third of the mutations concern random errors in the DNA replication. They’re last thought about their researches is that they need to focus more on secondary prevention to reduce cancer death for people with cancers in which all mutations are random. Finally, Vogelstein and Tomasetti hope that their results will encourage scientists to ameliorate methods to detect cancers prematurely.
I personally connected with this subject because of the fact that what this article says is that there’s big chance of having cancer even if you are very healthy, and that is scary. Indeed, errors in the DNA replications are the cause of many cancer mutations and there is no way to know if it is happening to you. I hope they continue their research to learn more about secondary prevention and find ways to reduce cancer death due to this factor since it is something that can happen to anyone.
I also thought that the article was not very detailed and I would have liked to know more about the subject. It also was not written for everyone to read. The researches were explained briefly with not so simple words. Finally, I’m eager to see if Vogelstein and Tomasetti’s work will help us in the future.