TABLE 1

Calculation of the number of stem cells which could contain a certain number of mutations occurring either randomly throughout the genome, or restricted to cancer-associated genes, based upon the spontaneous mutation rate

Stem cells containing “×” mutations
“x” mutationsRandom (genome-wide)Cancer-associated genes
11.47 × 1097.98 × 106
27.35 × 1087.98 × 103
32.45 × 1085
62.04 × 106
94.05 × 103
123
  • For these calculations, we have made the following assumptions: The spontaneous mutation rate for a gene is 2 × 10−7 per gene per division; stem cells divide 100 times in lifetime; the number of stem cells in the body is 4 × 109; a cell contains 5 × 104 genes, but 100 cancer-associated genes. Probabilities were calculated by Poisson probability distribution. Populations were determined by multiplication of the probability by the number of stem cells.