Researchers have produced the first laboratory evidence to show that a cell’s possession of an abnormal numbers of chromosomes contributes to the development of cancers. Their report on the role of this chromosomal instability, known as aneuploidy, appears in today’s online edition of the Feb. 3 Journal of Cell Biology. Because 85 percent of human cancer cells possess an abnormal number of chromosomes, researchers have long been curious about the role of aneuploidy in the multistep cancer process.
Treating precancerous breast cells with chemopreventive agents like tamoxifen limits the development of breast cancer in genetically predisposed women, according to a new study. Precancerous breast cells may also provide an effective mechanism for screening new and current chemopreventive agents, the study found.