Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Scientists Link Gene That Causes Cancers to Other Tumors

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Scientists Link Gene That Causes Cancers to Other Tumors

Article excerpt

Scientists have found the first direct evidence that a gene causing hereditary breast and ovarian cancer also plays a role in far more common, non-inherited tumors.

The hereditary cases appear in women who inherit a flawed version of the gene, which fails to suppress the development of cancer as the normal gene does. About 10 percent or less of breast and ovarian tumors are hereditary.

Now, for the first time, scientists have found flawed versions of the gene in non-hereditary ovarian tumors. The genes were normal when inherited but became flawed within the patients' own bodies.

In addition, other scientists have found that the gene is underactive in non-inherited breast cancers, suggesting that it may play a role in those tumors, even if it is not flawed.

About 182,000 cases of breast cancer and 26,600 cases of ovarian cancer are expected to be diagnosed in American women this year.

The gene, called BRCA1, causes about half of inherited breast cancers. …

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