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Page last updated at 06:53 GMT, Wednesday, 15 September 2010 07:53 UK

Cancer's 'penicillin moment'?

An important step has been taken towards the development of a new cancer treatments, according to a paper in the scientific journal Nature.

It describes how a new drug, PLX 4032, has been shrinking tumours in patients suffering from malignant melanoma.

Professor Mark Stratton, Director of the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, where he is joint head of the Cancer Genome Project, said: "We've entered an end game in which we are going to complete our understanding of what causes cancer."

It was, he added, "a remarkable moment", combining the human genome sequence and DNA sequencing technologies to potentially "sequence cancer genomes in their thousands and tens of thousands to find all the mutations within them".

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