Subscribe to the BioNews newsletter for free

Login
Advanced Search

Search for
BioNews

Like the Progress Educational Trust on Facebook


The Fertility Show


 

Identification of bowel cancer gene getting closer, say scientists

07 June 2010

By Dr Sophie Pryor

Appeared in BioNews 561

US scientists have identified a region of DNA, which may contain a novel gene responsible for the progression and spread of colorectal (bowel) cancer.

The scientists analysed the DNA of 81 people from five generations of a single family with an unusually high incidence of bowel cancer - three individuals had bowel cancer and nine other members and two spouses had polyps. As none of the family members had any of the genetic mistakes which had previously been linked to bowel cancer, the aim of the study was to identify new genetic faults which could be involved.

The researchers found that a stretch of DNA, located on chromosome 13, was significantly associated with the incidence of the disease and with the development of bowel polyps (pre-cancerous growths) among members of one large family.

Although the key gene(s) within the DNA region have not yet been found, the authors concluded that 'identification of the precise gene and causative genetic change will be an important step to understand cancer progression and metastasis.' They also noted that this region of chromosome 13 is often over-activated in up to half of bowel cancer cases, providing further evidence that genes within this area play an important role.

Bowel cancer is the third most common cancer in the UK, and the second leading cause of cancer death in the UK and US. Most cases begin as a small polyp on the inner lining of the bowel which, if left untreated, can grow through the bowel wall and spread to other organs. It is estimated that up to 25 per cent of cases arise due to unknown inherited genetic factors and large families, such as the one studied here, provide valuable information in the search for the important genes.

Henry Scowcroft, information manager for Cancer Research UK, said: 'This finding is a small piece in a bigger jigsaw puzzle, but adds to global research efforts that will ultimately benefit people with bowel cancer'.

The research was conducted by Deborah Neklason and colleagues and published in the Journal of Medical Genetics.

SOURCES & REFERENCES
Cancer Research UK | 03 June 2010
 

RELATED ARTICLES FROM THE BIONEWS ARCHIVE

25 January 2016 - by Hannah Somers 
Scientists in the USA have identified a biomarker that could predict which patients with colon cancer might benefit from chemotherapy to prevent recurrences of the disease after surgical treatment....
07 January 2013 - by Chris Baldacci 
Two rare genetic mutations have been linked to a higher risk of developing bowel cancer...
13 August 2012 - by Cait McDonagh 
A faulty gene linked to bowel cancer interacts with dietary iron to significantly increase the risk of developing the disease, research on mice suggests...
23 July 2012 - by Dr Kimberley Bryon-Dodd 
The genetic mutations underlying colon and rectal cancer are so similar that these cancers should be classified as one disease, a study suggests. Researchers analysed over 200 tumour samples and also identified genes that could serve as targets for future drug treatments...
19 December 2011 - by Sarah Pritchard 
A gene known as deleted colorectal carcinoma (DCC) could safeguard against the development of the colorectal cancer by inducing a process called apoptosis, or cell death...

30 November 2009 - by Sarah Pritchard 
The GSTP gene, which helps to protect the human body from harmful chemicals such as tobacco smoke, may also play a role in protection against the development of bowel cancer, say UK researchers....
28 September 2009 - by Dr Will Fletcher 
Scientists in the UK have found that a daily dose of aspirin may halve the chance of men with Lynch Syndrome developing colon cancer, one of the three most common cancers in developed countries. Lynch Syndrome is an inherited condition, which increases vulnerability to cancers of the colon, rectum, stomach, brain, liver, womb and elsewhere. Whilst the syndrome only accounts for five per cent of all colon cancer cases, the new findings are significant because men with the condition normally ha...
27 April 2009 - by David McDermott 
Upon collecting a prescription from my local pharmacy, I was surprised to be handed a key ring with a small plastic toilet attached (1). The NHS bowel cancer screening programme promotion is, apparently, all about toilets! It is time to ask the members of the NHS Committee, who gave their...
17 December 2007 - by Ailsa Stevens 
Two genetic variants that may triple a person's lifetime bowel cancer risk have been identified in a study published in the journal Nature Genetics last week. The researchers, based at Cancer Research UK's London Research Institute hope that the discoveries will one day lead to new tests...

HAVE YOUR SAY
Be the first to have your say.

You need to or  to add comments.

By posting a comment you agree to abide by the BioNews terms and conditions


- click here to enquire about using this story.

Published by the Progress Educational Trust

CROSSING FRONTIERS

Moving the Boundaries of Human Reproduction

Public Conference
London
8 December 2017

Speakers include

Professor Azim Surani

Professor Magdalena Zernicka-Goetz

Professor Robin Lovell-Badge

Sally Cheshire

Professor Guido Pennings

Katherine Littler

Professor Allan Pacey

Dr Sue Avery

Professor Richard Anderson

Dr Elizabeth Garner

Dr Jacques Cohen

Dr Anna Smajdor

Dr Andy Greenfield

Vivienne Parry

Dr Helen O'Neill

Dr César Palacios-González

Philippa Taylor

Fiona Fox

Sarah Norcross


BOOK HERE

Good Fundraising Code

Become a Friend of PET HERE and give the Progress Educational Trust a regular donation