Today’s blog comes courtesy of a press release from Cancer Research UK. We thought many of our followers would be interested in the following ‘hot spot research’ which raises some women’s likelihood of generating a breast tumour to one in four (due to 20 genetic variations carried by some women). Scientists working in Cambridge University, have discovered 15 previously unknown genetic ‘hot-spots’ that can increase a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer, and were previously getting under the radar, according to research published today in Nature Genetics. Continued work in this area will facilitate more precise genetic marking, and therefore enable a great deal more women to have
safety procedures (more regular testing etc) in place to limit their risk of developing a malignant tumour undetected.
In a study funded by Cancer Research UK, scientists compared tiny variations in the genetic make-up of more than 120,000 women of European ancestry, with and without breast cancer, and identified 15 new variations – called single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) – that are linked to a higher risk of the disease. This new discovery means that a total of more than 90 SNPs associated with breast cancer have now been revealed through research.
On average, one in every eight women in the UK will develop breast cancer at some stage in their lives. The researchers estimate that about one in twenty women have enough genetic variations to double their risk of developing breast cancer – giving them a risk of approximately one in four. A much smaller group of women, less than one in a hundred (0.7 per cent), have genetic variations that make them three times more likely to develop breast cancer, giving them a risk of around one in three. It’s hoped that these genetic markers can be used to help identify high-risk women and could lead to improved cancer screening and prevention.
Study author Professor Doug Easton, from the Department of Public Health and Primary Care at the University of Cambridge, said: “Our study is another step towards untangling the breast cancer puzzle. As well as giving us more information about how and why a higher breast cancer risk can be inherited, the genetic markers we found can help us to target screening and cancer prevention measures at those women who need them the most.
“The next bit of solving the puzzle involves research to understand more about how genetic variations work to increase a woman’s risk. And we’re sure there are more of these variations still to be discovered.”
Michailidou, K et al. Genome-wide association analysis of more than 120,000 individuals identifies 15 new susceptibility loci for breast cancer. Nat Gen; 9 March 2015
Adapted from a press release from Cancer Research UK – See more at: http://www.cam.ac.uk/research/news/fifteen-new-breast-cancer-genetic-risk-hot-spots-revealed#sthash.nSCspjKD.dpuf
– See more at: http://www.cam.ac.uk/research/news/fifteen-new-breast-cancer-genetic-risk-hot-spots-revealed#sthash.nSCspjKD.dpuf