In a landmark decision for open cancer treatment and research, the US Supreme Court unanimously struck down patents on naturally occurring human genes. Yesterday's ruling was against Myriad Genetics Inc., which had held patents related to two human genes (BRCA1 and BRCA2) linked to breast and ovarian cancer. The US Patent and Trademark Office has granted patents on DNA sequences for three decades, and lower courts have likewise allowed gene-related patents. But the Supreme Court said people's genes could not be patented because they were isolated rather than created. The case is a win for cancer patients, physicians and researchers, who argued that such gene patents hinder research and the practice of medicine. The ruling does allow patents on artificial genes, however, which are created in the lab.