How Mutations in Cell DNA Can Lead to Cancer

Professor Peter LewisSometimes cancer development is not just about a cell having mutations in its DNA, but about when and how those mutations change the cell’s behavior.

IPiB faculty member Peter Lewis, who is at the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery, is a member of the UW Carbone Cancer Center and studies how these behavioral changes can lead to cells becoming cancer – and how clinicians and researchers can take advantage of these changes to more effectively target cancers.

In one aspect of his research, Lewis focuses on how genes are turned on and off during embryonic development, and how misregulation in those genes can lead to some childhood cancers.

“In most adult cancers, tumors likely arise from the accumulation of mutations to tumor-suppressing and promoting genes over many years, and in the right context those mutations can lead to cancers,” Lewis said. “But of course children don’t have decades to accumulate mutations, so how do children get tumors early?”

To read more about Lewis’s research on cancer, see the link below.