A collaborative research study between King’s College London and Cambridge University suggests that different environmental causes can result in distinctive signatures in human tumours.
The study, A Compendium of Mutational Signatures of Environmental Agents, published in journal Cell, examined the link between mutational signatures and environmental agents. The results yielded substitution signatures in 41 out of the 79 environmental agents of 13 chemical/radiation families linked to cancer (including components of exhaust fumes, grilled meats, tobacco smoke, plant extracts and chemical dyes).
Dr Serena Nik-Zainal commented:
“This is the first time a systematic study has been performed exploring environmental mutagens in a human cellular system at this scale. We hope this compendium of mutational signatures will serve as a reference for future scientific studies, and for public health purposes.”
Access the full study here.