ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Local researchers have found cancers that affect different parts of the body seem to share a common genetic fingerprint.

Two new studies show there are similar genes and mutations across different types of cancer.

Dr. John DiPersio at Washington University School of Medicine is studying leukemia. He says this is significant because one day we may no longer treat cancers according to which organ they hit – like breast cancer or liver cancer – but instead “start defining diseases by their genetic fingerprint or signature.”

Dipersio says that could lead to more specific and effective cancer treatment.

“If we find a common mutation that occurs in many different cancers, we can develop a drug for that pathway or that gene and actually test it in many different kinds of cancers,” he explained.


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