Scientists studying lymphoma have mapped thousands of genes and decoded the entire genome of a patient with follicular lymphoma, marking an important moment in cancer research.

During the course of their study, the researchers identified a DNA spelling mistake, or a mutation, in a gene found in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma and follicular lymphoma. The finding is groundbreaking because normally mutations are found in different sites in genes, while this particular mutation has been found in exactly the same location in different lymphoma patients.

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“Lymphoma is the fifth most common form of cancer and has the fastest growth rate of any common cancer in North America,” said Health Services Minister Kevin Falcon. “The breakthrough by the scientists involved in this study is an important step to better understanding the disease and gives hope that new treatments can be found.”