To the surprise of scientists, the most dangerous cancers of the uterine lining closely resemble the worst ovarian and breast cancers, raising the tantalizing possibility that the three deadly cancers might respond to the same drugs. This finding, part of a major new study, is the best evidence yet that cancer will increasingly be seen as a disease defined by its genetic fingerprint rather than by the organ where it originated, researchers say.
The study of endometrial cancer — a cancer of the uterine lining — and another of acute myeloid leukemia, published simultaneously on Wednesday by Nature and the New England Journal of Medicine, are part of a sprawling, ambitious project by the National Institutes of Health to scrutinize DNA aberrations in common cancers. The endometrial cancer and leukemia efforts alone involved more than 100 researchers who studied close to 400 endometrial tumors and 200 leukemias.
Dr. Douglas Levine of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, the principal investigator on the endometrial cancer study.