Tiny Circles of DNA Shelter Cancer-Associated Genes and Promote Cancer Formation

April 28, 2023

New Stanford Medicine-led international study reveals tiny circles of DNA, known as extrachromosomal DNA that harbor cancer inducing genes, called oncogenes and immunomodulatory genes which could moderate the immune system’s response to an  emerging cancer.

“Previous research had suggested that the circles, which are widespread in human cancers but rarely found in healthy cells, primarily arise in advanced tumors as the abnormal cells increasingly botch the intricate steps required to copy their DNA before each cell division. But the new study shows that the roly-poly circles can be found even in precancerous cells — and their presence jump-starts a cancerous transformation. Blocking their formation, or their effect on the cells that carry them, might stop cancers from developing, the researchers believe.”

SOURCE: https://med.stanford.edu/news/all-news/2023/04/ecDNA-cancer.html