Sep 30, 2022
A new study published in Nature Genetics is helping illuminate some of the mechanisms that can make extrachromosomal DNA (ecDNA) so dangerous. Professor Vineet Bafna was a corresponding author on the study.
“EcDNA are formed when fragments of genetic material break away from their chromosomes, forming small, circular molecules that can act independently,” said Bafna. “These fragments can duplicate cancer-promoting oncogenes, helping tumors become more aggressive and resist treatments.”
The study uses mathematical modeling, simulations, and experiments to explain how random segregation and selection can boost cancer aggressiveness and its ability to resist treatments.