PROVO, Utah (ABC4) — Professors from Brigham Young University participated in the largest DNA and protein cancer research to date, according to the university’s press release.

Two BYU professors, Matthew Bailey and Sam Payne, were part of a 120-person team with researchers from all over the country conducting one of the largest studies in cancer DNA and protein research.

The team analyzed over 1,000 tumors across 10 cancer types in an effort to collect a large dataset about cancer tumors, the release said. This has the potential to progress research toward new protein-based therapies.

Researchers contrasted the tumor samples with healthy tissue, analyzing DNA, RNA, and protein levels. The research was intended to give additional data and insight into how cancer works from the beginning to the end, the press release said.

“This project aims to describe what a dysfunctional cancer cell does,” said Payne. “In order to treat the disease better we must diagnose the disease better. We need to understand what that cell is doing.”

BYU said Payne’s lab was “essential” to the research as the lab extracted and prepared information for the rest of the team.

While the project is ongoing, some of the current research was published this month as a group of research articles in the academic journals CELL and CANCER CELL. The first line of one of the academic article states “Comprehensive molecular profiling is radically changing cancer research.”

The press release said that while “scientists have known that genetic mutations cause cancer” for many years, the consequences of the mutations in proteins are “still largely unknown.” Having a greater understanding of this could lead to new therapeutic treatments to block tumor growth.

“We are starting to get a more complete picture of cancer and the consequences of genetic mutations on proteins,” Bailey said.

The research was part of the National Cancer Institute’s Clinical Proteomics Tumor Analysis Consortium. It included researchers from Baylor College of Medicine, Harvard, MIT, and the Dana-Faber Cancer Institute.