Navigation Links
3 new genetic links to colorectal cancer

Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center investigators have identified three new genetic "hotspots" linked to colorectal cancer.

These variants, reported Dec. 23 in an Advanced Online Publication in Nature Genetics, provide new insight into the biology of colorectal cancer and could represent new therapeutic targets for the disease.

Colorectal cancer is one of the most commonly diagnosed cancers worldwide and rates are particularly high in the United States and other developed countries. Genetics plays an important role in both sporadic and familial (inherited) forms of the disease. However, only about 6 percent of colorectal cancer cases are explained by the rare genetic variants known to confer high risk of colorectal cancer (as seen in familial forms of the disease).

Previous studies on the genetic basis of colorectal cancer have pinpointed several additional variants, but most of the studies were conducted in European/Caucasian populations.

"Looking at different ethnic groups is important because the genetic structures can be different enough that variants identified in one population do not explain risk in other populations," said Wei Zheng, M.D., Ph.D., MPH, an Ingram Professor of Cancer Research and senior author on the study. "Because of the difference in genetic structures and underlying environment exposures, it might be easier to discover some risk variants in studies conducted in non-European populations."

In 2009, Zheng and colleagues in several Asian countries established the "Asia Colorectal Cancer Consortium" to search for novel genetic risk factors for the disease. The consortium included populations in China, Korea and Japan.

Using an approach known as a "genome-wide association study" (or GWAS), Zheng and colleagues began searching for common variants linked to disease risk.

From genomic data obtained from 2,098 colorectal cancer cases and 5,749 controls, the researchers identified 64 variants, or "single nucleotide polymorphisms" (SNPs), that were associated with colorectal cancer.

The investigators then replicated these findings in another set of samples, narrowing down the number of disease-associated variants to four. Three of those four variants were also associated with colorectal cancer risk in a larger European sample.

"The findings from this study are relevant to both Asian and European populations," said Zheng. "Interestingly, these three susceptibility loci were not discovered in previous studies conducted in European-ancestry populations."

This study highlights the importance of conducting genetic studies in non-European populations to fully uncover the genetic basis for common diseases, including colorectal cancer, Zheng noted.

While the specific functions of these newly identified susceptibility loci are not clear yet, several important genes are located in the regions near the risk variants discovered in this study. For example, one risk variant is located near CCND2, the gene encoding cyclin D2, a member of the cyclin family of proteins that regulate the cell cycle. Cyclins have been linked to cancer, but research on the CCND2 gene has been limited. Therefore, the current findings suggest the need for further research on the role of other cyclins and cyclin-dependent kinases in carcinogenesis.

"These new discoveries are very exciting," Zheng said. "They will certainly lead to future studies regarding the biology of these regions and the translational potential of these findings in cancer prevention and treatment."


Contact: Dagny Stuart
Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Related biology news :

1. Nearby chimpanzee populations show much greater genetic diversity than distant human populations
2. Will a genetic mutation cause trouble? Ask Spliceman
3. UC Santa Barbara researchers discover genetic link between visual pathways of hydras and humans
4. Perception and preference may have genetic link to obesity
5. A foot in the door to genetic information
6. Genetic survey of endangered Antarctic blue whales shows surprising diversity
7. Epigenetic signatures direct the repair potential of reprogrammed cells
8. Epigenetics and epidemiology -- hip, hype and science
9. Genetic variation in East Asians found to explain resistance to cancer drugs
10. First complete full genetic map of promising energy crop
11. Genetic research develops tools for studying diseases, improving regenerative treatment
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/7/2016)... -- Syngrafii Inc. and San Antonio Credit Union (SACU) ... Syngrafii,s patented LongPen™ eSignature "Wet" solution into SACU,s ... in greater convenience for SACU members and operational ... document workflow and compliance requirements. Logo ... Highlights: ...
(Date:6/2/2016)... LONDON , June 2, 2016 ... Systems, Manned Platforms, Unmanned Systems, Physical Infrastructure, Support & ... intelligence provider visiongain offers comprehensive analysis of ... that this market will generate revenues of $17.98 billion ... Systems acquired DVTEL Inc, a leader in software and ...
(Date:5/16/2016)... YORK , May 16, 2016   EyeLock ... solutions, today announced the opening of an IoT Center ... to strengthen and expand the development of embedded iris ... an unprecedented level of convenience and security with unmatched ... authenticate one,s identity aside from DNA. EyeLock,s platform uses ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... ... findings on what they believe could be a new and helpful biomarker for ... research. Click here to read it now. , Biomarkers are components ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... Newly created ... services and solutions to the healthcare market. The company's primary focus is on ... sales and marketing strategies that are necessary to help companies efficiently bring their ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... June 27, 2016  Liquid Biotech ... funding of a Sponsored Research Agreement with The ... cells (CTCs) from cancer patients.  The funding will ... levels correlate with clinical outcomes in cancer patients ... will then be employed to support the design ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... 2016  Regular discussions on a range of subjects including ... two entities said Poloz. Speaking at a lecture ... , he pointed to the country,s inflation target, which is ... "In certain areas there ... common economic goals, why not sit down and address strategy ...
Breaking Biology Technology: