Navigation Links
New Genetic Clues to Breast Cancer?

By Kathleen Doheny
HealthDay Reporter

SUNDAY, Jan. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers have identified three new genomic regions they believe are linked with breast cancer that may help explain why some women develop the disease.

All three newly identified areas "contain interesting genes that open up new avenues for biological and clinical research," said researcher Douglas Easton, a professor of genetic epidemiology at the University of Cambridge in England.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women, with about 1 million new cases annually worldwide and more than 400,000 deaths a year.

Scientists conducting genome-wide association studies -- research that looks at the association between genetic factors and disease to pinpoint possible causes -- had already identified 22 breast cancer susceptibility loci. Locus is the physical location of a gene or DNA sequence on a chromosome.

"The three [newly identified] loci take the number of common susceptibility loci from 22 to 25," said Easton.

However, the three new susceptibility loci might explain only about 0.7 percent of the familial risks of breast cancer, bringing the total contribution to about 9 percent, the researchers said.

Michael Melner, scientific program director for the American Cancer Society, said this current research adds some important new clues to existing evidence, but he agreed that the number of cases likely associated with these three variants is probably low.

"So the total impact in terms of patients would be fairly small," Melner said.

The study is published online Jan. 22 in Nature Genetics.

To find the new clues, Easton's team worked with genetic information on about 57,000 breast cancer patients and 58,000 healthy women obtained from two genome-wide association studies.

The investigators zeroed in on 72 different single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). A SNP -- pronounced "snip" -- is a change in which a single base in the DNA differs from the usual base. The human genome has millions of SNPs, some linked with disease, while others are normal variations.

The researchers focused on three SNPs -- on chromosomes 12p11, 12q24 and 21q21.

Easton's team found that the variant on the 12p11 chromosome is linked with both estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer (which needs estrogen to grow) and estrogen receptor-negative breast cancer. The other two variants are only linked with ER-positive cancers, they said.

One of the newly identified variants is in an area with a gene that has a role in the development of mammary glands and bones. Easton said it was already known that mammary gland development in puberty is an important period in terms of determining later cancer risk. "But these are the first susceptibility genes to be shown to be involved in this process," he said.

One of the other SNPs is in an area that can affect estrogen receptor signaling, the researchers found.

Melner, noting some of the research is "fine tuning" of other work, said in his view the new understanding of the signaling pathways and their genetic links is the most important finding.

"When you delineate a pathway, you bring up new potential targets for therapy," he said. "The more targets you have, you open up the potential for having multiple drugs and attacking a cancer more easily, without it becoming more resistant."

Overall, Melner added, the results underscore the complexity of the different mechanisms involved in breast cancer development.

More information

For more about the genetics of breast cancer, visit the American Cancer Society.

SOURCES: Douglas Easton, Ph.D., professor, genetic epidemiology, University of Cambridge, England; Michael H. Melner, Ph.D., scientific program director, American Cancer Society; Jan. 22, 2012, Nature Genetics, online

Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Certain genetic profiles associated with recurrence-free survival for non-small cell lung cancer
2. Obstructive Sleep Apnea in Kids May Have Genetic Cause
3. Epigenetic signals differ across alleles
4. Study reveals genetic link between mammographic density and breast cancer
5. Genetic Risk Score Doesnt Spot Heart Trouble in Women
6. Penn researchers find genetic link to leukemias with an unknown origin
7. Scientists Spot Genetic Fingerprints of Individual Cancers
8. Genetic health risks in children of assisted reproductive technology
9. Genetic Mutation Linked to Prostate Cancer in Blacks
10. Protecting the brain from of a deadly genetic disease
11. Protecting the brain from a deadly genetic disease
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
New Genetic Clues to Breast Cancer?
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... Lizzie’s Lice Pickers just announced a special promotion ... off of their purchase of lice treatment product. In addition, customers will receive a ... company spokesperson. “Finding lice is a sure way to ruin the holidays, so we ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... ... progress through sharing, the 2016 Building Better Radiology Marketing Programs meeting ... begin on Sunday, March 6, 2016, at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas with ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... Keeping in ... for mental health and wellness consultation, has collaborated with a leading web-based marketplace ... knowledge gap experienced by parents and bring advice from parenting experts within their ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... , ... November 27, 2015 , ... Avid collector, Andrew ... Arbor Michigan boxing style concert posters. This is one of Joplin's most famous and ... House at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. The According to Hawley, "It ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... ... eReferral system for diagnostic imaging in the Waterloo region. Using the Ocean Platform, ... Medicine tests directly from their electronic medical record (EMR) without the need for ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... 2015 --> ... blends immunotherapy with Bremachlorin-photodynamic therapy for advanced cancer. ... immunotherapy with Bremachlorin-photodynamic therapy for advanced cancer.   ... immunotherapy with Bremachlorin-photodynamic therapy for advanced cancer.   ... that immunotherapy can be efficiently combined with photodynamic therapy ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... , Nov. 26, 2015 Research and ... of the "2016 Future Horizons and Growth ... Market: Supplier Shares, Country Segment Forecasts, Competitive Intelligence, ... --> --> ... of the Japanese therapeutic drug monitoring market, including ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... 2015 Research and Markets ( ) ... Care Market by Type (Dressings, Therapy Devices, Active Wound ... Out-Patient Facility), and Geography - Global Forecast to 2020" ... --> --> The purpose of this ... of the global advanced wound care market. It involves ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: