Scientists have analyzed the genetic code for breast and colorectal cancers, finding close to 200 key mutated genes within these cancers (Sjöblom T et al. Sciencexpress. doi:10.1126/science.1133427 [published online September 7, 2006]).
History has shown that simply revealing a cancer's genetic cause—for example, certain well-known mutations within the p53 gene—does not often lead to a cure. But the researchers are confident that finding the genes associated with tumor initiation, growth, and spread can lay the groundwork for studies that could lead to better diagnostics and treatments.
Hampton T. Breast and Colon Cancer Genomes Sequenced. JAMA. 2006;296(15):1825-1826. doi:10.1001/jama.296.15.1825