Identification of genes key to the progression of squamous cell carcinoma of the lung by 3p array comparative genomic hybridization

Lung cancer accounts for the majority of cancer deaths in Canada. Unfortunately, diagnosis typically occurs after lung cancer is well-established, too late for effective treatment. To develop more effective ways of detecting and treating cancer, researchers are studying the genetic makeup of patients, with the goal of identifying and characterizing particular genes that may either suppress or promote the onset and progression of lung cancer. Using an approach that combines laboratory benchwork with bioinformatics techniques (the use of computer tools and databases to analyze large amounts of biological data), Bradley Coe is focusing his work on a specific chromosome, 3p, with which genetic alterations have recently been linked to the development of lung cancer. Identifying genes critical to the disease process will lead to a better overall understanding of lung cancer and may point the way to more targeted diagnostic tests and treatment.