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Dr. Sledge Defines the Term "Smart" Cancer

George W. Sledge, Jr, MD, Chief, Division of Oncology, Professor of Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine, defines a "smart" cancer.

George W. Sledge, Jr, MD, Chief, Division of Oncology, Professor of Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine, defines a "smart" cancer.

One end of the "smart" cancer spectrum contains many hematologic malignancies and childhood cancers, as they have few mutations. The other end of the spectrum, Sledge says, has colorectal cancer, melanoma, head and neck cancer, and lung cancer, as they have a large mutational load.

In the case of non-small cell lung cancer, a study showed that just three cigarettes caused a cancer mutation. This heavy load of mutations is what makes a cancer "smart."

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