Aneuploidy – The Chromosomal Imbalance that Leads to Cancer

Ulrike Granögger

To date, the prevalent approach to understanding and curing cancer has been to sequence the cancer genome and find the responsible oncogene(s). But this approach has turned out to be futile, with many studies showing great heterogeneity within individual tumors. In fact, no cancer cell is alike; even within the same tumor, gene mutations are variegated and manifold.

The search for the “bad gene” and attempts to correct it by gene-therapeutic methods such as Crispr-Cas9 and mRNA injections are looking like the search for the proverbial needle in the haystack.

There is one thing, however, that all tumors have in common: their chromosomes are out of balance. While normal cells contain a double set of chromosomes (diploid cells), all cancerous cells have more than the usual chromosomes with many of them broken, disproportionate, or missing.

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