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Bull Cancer. 2010 Nov;97(11):1223-9. doi: 10.1684/bdc.2010.1200.

[Towards an inventory of oncogenic mutations in cancer].

[Article in French]

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Institut de recherche en cancérologie de Montpellier, Université de Montpellier-I, Montpellier, France.


The discovery of oncogenes and tumor suppressors has established the original concept of cancer development based on a cascade of spontaneously occurring somatic mutations. It is now well known that genomes of cancer cells are deeply rearranged and that these rearrangements have devastating consequences on their organization and function. These rearrangements and their functional consequences are increasingly well characterized leading to the identification of numerous novel mutations, including a number of orphan mutations. The number of cancer genes has constantly been on the rise as a consequence of technological evolution. Starting from a couple of dozen founder genes, we are presently facing lists comprising several hundreds of genes. These correspond to genes affected by structural rearrangements or mutations, those modified at the epigenetic level and, more recently, miRNAs. The current challenge resulting from this brutal increase will be to sort out founder from passenger mutations and deduce the oncogenic cascades that correspond to each tumor phenotype.

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