Narrator: This is Science Today. Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, are contributing breakthrough research to the Cancer Genome Atlas — a federally funded effort to chart the genomic changes of more than 20 types of cancer.
Cho: The goal is to understand No.1, what are the changes that have really make cancers different from normal cells? And second, what is the heterogeneity of the cancer, because there are hundreds of different combinations of genetic events that can end up causing cancer; trying to understand what all those different combinations are is a critical goal of that project.
Narrator: Researcher Raymond Cho explains that understanding the order in which mutations emerge as a cell becomes cancerous is an important first step in both predicting the severity of cancers and treating them.
Cho: Being able to completely understand the genetic sequence of cancers, even though really you're talking billions of pieces of information for every single cancer, was going to be a critical part to understanding how we're are going to get to treatment in the future.
Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.