You can now read 10 articles in a month for free on Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

The Boston Globe

Health & wellness

Study gives new clues on tumors

Again and again, recent studies of cancer genetics have revealed that what once appeared to be a single disease -- such as breast or lung cancer -- is really a mosaic made up of many different subtypes, each with its own genetic roots that may require its own targeted therapy.

Now scientists working independently in Boston and Germany have made a surprising discovery: a set of genetic mutations found in most melanomas, the deadliest skin cancer. The presence of these mutations in the vast majority of tumors studied suggests that the researchers may have stumbled upon a fundamental mechanism involved in a hallmark trait of cancer cells -- their ability to live forever -- a mechanism that could one day be targeted by drugs.

Loading comments...

You have reached the limit of 10 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week