The Fertility Show, Manchester Central, 24-25 March 2018
Page URL:

Genetic clue to kidney cancer

24 January 2011
Appeared in BioNews 592

Scientists have identified a gene mutation that is linked to a third of kidney cancers.

Researchers compared the genes in cancer cells with those in normal tissue in a small number of patients, before going on to look at a larger group of kidney cancer patients. Mutations in a gene, PBRM1, were present in 34 percent of the 257 kidney cancer cases studied. All the patients who had a mutation in PBRM1 had renal cell carcinoma, the most common type of kidney cancer.

Kidney cancer is one of the ten most common cancers and caused nearly 4,000 deaths in the UK in 2008. Early detection and treatment greatly improves the chance of surviving kidney cancer, which often remains undetected due to a lack of early symptoms.

Dr Elizabeth Rapley, from the Institute of Cancer Research, told the BBC: ‘This cancer has a poor prognosis with fewer than 50 percent of patients surviving their disease for more than five years. The research provides a better and more complete picture of the genetic changes needed for renal cancer to develop’.

The protein produced by PBRM1 is involved in packaging DNA, but it is not known how the faulty protein makes the cell more likely to become cancerous. Better understanding of mutations in genes, such as PBRM1, which are involved in the early stages of kidney cancer, could lead to improved screening, early diagnosis and the development of new drugs.

The research was published in the journal Nature.

19 July 2010 - by Dr Jay Stone 
The largest study to link cancer cells' genetics with their sensitivity to treatment published its first results on the 15 July...
12 July 2010 - by MacKenna Roberts 
Western men who carry a BRCA2 genetic mutation have a six to nine per cent lifetime risk of developing breast cancer, UK researchers have found...
28 September 2009 - by Dr Charlotte Maden 
Four genetic studies into prostate cancer have uncovered new genetic variations associated with the disease. The information may be used to provide a more reliable indication of the risk a man has of developing prostate cancer....
24 August 2009 - by Lorna Stewart 
Lung cancer is currently the leading cause of cancer death in the UK. Although smoking is responsible for the vast majority of lung cancer cases, there is existing evidence for a genetic component as well. A study published last week in the journal Cancer Research sheds new light on genetic vulnerability to lung cancer....
30 July 2001 - by BioNews 
Collaborative research between scientists from the UK Imperial Cancer Research Fund and the Imperial College School of Medicine, London, has shown for the first time that bone marrow cells are able to turn into kidney cells. The researchers believe that this discovery will help pave the way to treating kidney...
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.