New Cancer Discovered By Mayo Clinic

Great.  Now they've found a new cancer.

Researchers at the Mayo Clinic have found when two certain genes come together during an abnormal but recurring chromosomal mismatch, they can be dangerous. The result is a chimera — a gene that is half of each — and that causes a tumor that usually begins in the nose and may infiltrate the rest of the face, requiring disfiguring surgery to save the individual, reports.

 Chimera is also a word used to describe a fire-breathing female monster with a lion's head, a goat's body, and a serpent's tail.

Scarily, the cancer strikes 75 percent of the time in women.

Scientists at the Mayo Clinic have pinned down the genetic structure and molecular signature of this seldom-recognized type of cancer, according to

It is rare, but how rare no one knows as most of the cases examined were initially diagnosed as various other types of cancer.

“It’s unusual that a condition or disease is recognized, subsequently studied in numerous patients, and then genetically characterized all at one place,” says Andre Oliveira, M.D., Ph.D, who subspecializes in the molecular genetics of sarcomas. “Usually these things happen over a longer period of time and involve separate investigators and institutions."

This actually was not the first time the cancer was seen. While the cancer wasn’t formally identified until 2009, a subsequent search of Mayo Clinic’s medical records showed that a Mayo patient had the cancer in 1956, the Web site notes.

The identical description was found in physician notes within Mayo’s computerized database and confirmed with careful microscopic analysis. Dr. Oliveira took his investigation one step further and located that patient’s original tumor samples kept all those years in Mayo’s bio repositories. His analysis confirmed that the tumor possessed this same genetic chimera.

Because it's only recently been discovered again, researchers aren't sure how many people have, or have had, this cancer.  But the good news is that they're now on the trail of a treatment.


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