Get the latest updates as we post them — right on your browser

. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Cancer Gene Identified

NEW YORK -- Using molecular data from the Human Genome Project, scientists have identified a gene that causes some cancer cells to spread, raising the prospect of quicker diagnosis and better treatments for the most dangerous tumors.

Scientists call the discovery a significant advance in understanding the molecular mechanisms that underlie why cancer cells stray. The consequences of this, researchers estimate, lead to 90 percent of all cancer deaths.

The study is one of two reported in the journal Nature whose findings hold promise of using gene-based data to stop the spread of cancer before it starts, experts say. One study focuses on the role of one gene in triggering the spread of malignant melanoma. The second examines a host of genes involved in the cancer's metastasis.