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Change in gene may be underlying molecular defect in some colorectal cancers

moter methylation may qualify as a marker of the field defect in colorectal cancer," the authors write. In addition, "given the high lifetime risk of colorectal tumor development in the U.S. population, it is reasonable to propose testing to determine whether healthy persons with MGMT promoter methylation in normal colorectal mucosa are at higher risk of developing a colon tumor than those without such methylation."

In an editorial, Edward Giovannucci, M.D., Sc.D., of the Harvard School of Public Health, and Shuji Ogino, of Brigham and Women's Hospital, both in Boston, review the concept of the field defect (also called the field effect or field cancerization). They also raise several questions about how these findings may affect related areas of research, such as approaches to chemoprevention and "whether the reversal of DNA methylation in precancerous cells may prevent the development of new primary cancers in the same organ," they write.


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Source:Journal of the National Cancer Institute


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