Page URL:

New cancer risk gene uncovered

1 September 2003
By BioNews
Appeared in BioNews 223

A new US study has revealed that a gene called TGFBR1-6A could be involved in up to 16 per cent of all cases of cancer. Scientists at the Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago have pooled the results of seven previous studies, and found that people who inherit a shortened version of the gene have a 26 per cent increased risk of developing cancer. Those who inherit two versions could have up to a 50 per cent increased risk, say the team, who published their results in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

The gene makes a protein called transforming growth factor beta receptor 1-6A, which in turn appears to stop cells from growing in an uncontrolled way. But once a cell becomes cancerous, the shortened version seems to make it even more malignant, says study author Virginia Kaklamani. The researchers concluded that the altered gene could trigger up to seven per cent of breast cancers, 11 per cent of ovarian cancers and 5.5 per cent of all colon cancers.

The scientists hope that their findings could eventually lead to screening tests, to identify individuals at high risk of cancer. 'In the near future, it will be commonplace for people to know what genes make them susceptible to cancer, and we'll have many more options for preventing those cancers' said team leader Boris Pasche.

Common cancer gene hikes risk
MSNBC |  28 August 2003
Common gene 'boosts cancer risk'
BBC News Online |  30 August 2003
New cancer gene raises risk by a quarter
Reuters |  28 August 2003
Northwestern's Cancer Genetics Program pinpoints gene that increases cancer risk by 26 percent
Northwestern Memorial Hospital |  28 August 2003
18 August 2008 - by Dr Rachael Panizzo 
Scientists have identified one of the leading genetic causes of inherited colorectal cancer, reported in the journal Science. Research teams at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and the Human Cancer Genetics Program at Ohio State University found that abnormal activity of the transforming growth factor-beta...
6 October 2005 - by BioNews 
Up to a third of all cases of breast cancer could have a genetic basis, a leading UK scientist said last week. Speaking at the annual conference of the National Cancer Research Institute, Professor Bruce Ponder said that research suggests there could be hundreds of variations in dozens of genes...
12 August 2004 - by BioNews 
Researchers from St George's Hospital in London have found that a particular gene variation can nearly double the risk of developing breast cancer. The discovery may help doctors predict a woman's chances of being affected by the disease, and could enable treatments personalised to a patient's genetic profile. The researchers...
Log in to add a Comment.

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

Syndicate this story - click here to enquire about using this story.