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‘Bad luck’ not a major cause of cancer, new study says

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‘Bad luck’ not a major cause of cancer, new study says

In January, two researchers at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, (and the journalists who wrote about them) spurred a firestorm by writing in Science that much of cancer is due to “bad luck,” or random mistakes that take place when cells divide. That paper launched a lively debate, and today a group at Stony Brook University in New York has fired back: The authors argue in Nature that the earlier analysis was flawed, and cancers are due to this “bad luck” only 10% to 30% of the time, reports STAT. The Stony Brook researchers say that instead external causes such as environmental risks overwhelmingly drive disease.

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