Mitelman Honoured for Cancer Research -- MEDICA - World Forum for Medicine

Professor Mitelman has published more than 700 scientific articles in the field of chromosomes and cancer. He has also built up a large database - the Mitelman Database of Chromosome Aberrations in Cancer - about the molecular, genetic, and clinical consequences of chromosomal aberrations in cancer cells. The database, which contains over 50,000 clinical cases, is freely accessible on the Internet and visited every day by thousands of doctors and researchers from all over the world.

Mitelman’s work focuses on cancer that occurs randomly or due to environmental factors in a cell that has changed into a cancer cell. His research group has described more than one hundred chromosomal aberrations linked to various forms of cancer. When Mitelman began his research in this field, many thought this research would never have any practical significance. However, nowadays chromosomal studies are an accepted aid in determining the diagnosis and prognosis of many forms of cancer. For example, in children with acute leukaemia chromosomal studies can show which children have a good prognosis and which ones will require the most difficult treatment.

With modern DNA technology, researchers have been able to show that “fusion genes,” which arise when two chromosomes in a cell are broken off and then erroneously joined, can cause cancer. The research community has long known that this is the case in haematologic cancer. However, a few years ago Mitelman went against the flow by claiming that even solid tumours are caused by fusion genes. This idea has now been verified, since fusion genes have been shown to cause a large share of both lung and prostate cancers. This finding opens new opportunities for treatment, if researchers can find a way to “close off” the harmful genes.; Source: Lund University