Navigation Links
Mystery of the missing breast cancer genes

Researchers from the University of Adelaide are hoping to better understand why the mutated genes for breast and ovarian cancer are not passed on more frequently from one generation of women to the next.

That's despite a documented link between breast cancer genes and increased fertility in women.

Dr Jack da Silva from the University's School of Molecular & Biomedical Science says that because women who carry breast cancer genes are more fertile, in theory they have a greater chance of passing these genes on to future generations.

"A recent study in the United States found that mutations in the breast cancer genes BRCA1 and BRCA2 were directly linked with a 50% increase in the fertility of women, which is a huge number," Dr da Silva says.

"With such an increased fertility rate, you would expect to see a high frequency of these cancer-causing genes in modern populations, but in fact that is not the case - the frequencies are relatively low."

In a paper being published today in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, he argues that the so-called "grandmother effect" may in part be the reason behind this phenomenon.

"In an earlier study, researchers found that post-menopausal women create a 'grandmother effect' - that is, the longer they live, the more they are able to support their daughters and their grandchildren, thereby creating an environment in which more grandchildren are born.

"The reverse of this is that women who die earlier - such as from breast or ovarian cancer, which are usually post-menopausal - will no longer be able to support their daughters and grandchildren. This has the effect of limiting the number of grandchildren born, and therefore the chances of passing on the mutated genes from one generation to the next is also limited," Dr da Silva says.

However, the "grandmother effect" does not entirely negate the increased fertility caused by breast cancer genes, he says.

"Our change to today's industrial and technological age has been relatively rapid in human history. For most of our existence, we have been hunter-gatherers. During this time, female fertility was limited, and this may have reduced the increase in fertility caused by mutations of these genes."

Dr da Silva says further studies examining modern-day hunter-gatherer societies might shed more light on how and why the spread of these genetic mutations occurs across generations.

Contact: Dr. Jack da Silva
University of Adelaide

Related medicine news :

1. Contact Dermatitis Can Be Irritating, Especially When the Cause is a Mystery
2. Scientist, Dr Staninger, Unlocks the Mystery of Morgellons Disease
3. U of T researchers crack splicing code, solve a mystery underlying biological complexity
4. Parkinsons Transplant Mystery Solved, Researchers Say
5. Is Frequency the Future of Medicine or an Ancient Mystery Revealed?
6. Scripps Research scientists solve long-standing mystery of protein quality control mechanism
7. Scientists May Have Solved an HIV Mystery
8. New clue in leukemia mystery: Researchers identify poison employed by deadly enzyme mutations
9. Solving a traditional Chinese medicine mystery
10. Mystery ingredient in coffee boosts protection against Alzheimers disease
11. Delving Into the Mystery of Placebos
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... ... strategic partnership with Connance, a healthcare industry leader providing predictive analytics to ... technology combine to provide health systems, hospitals and ambulatory surgical centers with ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... recently awarded their highest ... . , Millions of individuals in the United States and Canada wear eyeglasses. Once ... to both correct vision and make a fashion statement. Even celebrities use glasses as ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... On June 10-11, 2016, A ... 2016 Cereal Festival and World’s Longest Breakfast Table in Battle Creek, MI, where the ... history as home to some of the world’s leading providers of cereal and other ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... PawPaws brand pet supplements ... that was developed to enhance the health of felines. The formula is all-natural and ... main herbs in the PawPaws Cat Kidney Support Supplement Soft Chews are ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... Orion, Clarkston, Michigan (PRWEB) , ... June 26, ... ... with respect to fertility once they have been diagnosed with endometriosis. These women ... intercourse but they also require a comprehensive approach that can help for preservation ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... SAN CLEMENTE, Calif. , June 24, 2016  American ... function testing company, is now able to perform sophisticated lung assessments ... ndd Medical Technologies , Inc. Patients are no ...  Thanks to ndd,s EasyOne PRO ® , ARL patients like Jeanne ... needed testing done in the comfort of her own home. ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... 2016 According to a new ... Pen Needles, Safety Pen Needles), Needle Length (4mm, 5mm, ... Mode of Purchase (Retail, Non-Retail) - Trends & Global ... the market for the forecast period of 2016 to ... Billion by 2021 from USD 1.65 Billion in 2016, ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Belgium , June 24, 2016 ... the appointment of Dr. Edward Futcher ... Non-Executive Director, effective June 23, 2016.Dr. Futcher was ... Nominations and Governance Committees.  As a non-executive member ... independent expertise and strategic counsel to VolitionRx in ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: