Navigation Links
Patients with family history of colorectal cancer may be at risk for aggressive form of the disease

BOSTON--When people with a family history of colorectal cancer develop the disease, their tumors often carry a molecular sign that the cancer could be life-threatening and may require aggressive treatment, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute scientists report in a new study.

The finding, reported in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, draws on data from studies that have tracked the health of tens of thousands of people over several decades. It suggests that colorectal cancer patients could one day have their tumor tissue tested for the molecular sign, and, if necessary, receive more powerful therapies and a familial cancer-risk assessment for their relatives. It further suggests that such patients' relatives could be eligible for more frequent colonoscopies to catch the disease at the earliest possible stage.

Unlike other abnormalities that raise the risk of colon cancer in some families, the newly discovered sign is not linked to a gene mutation that can be inherited from one's parents or grandparents. It appears in DNA segments that are thought to have entered the human genome millennia ago, possibly through infection by retroviruses. These sections, known as long interspersed nucleotide element 1 (LINE-1), are sprinkled throughout the human genome and make up about 17 percent of our DNA. Normally, LINE-1 doesn't cause much trouble, because it's blanketed by methyl groups (packets of one carbon atom bound to three hydrogen atoms).

In the current study, researchers led by Dana-Farber's Shuji Ogino, MD, PhD, MS, and Charles Fuchs, MD, MPH, found that for many colorectal cancer patients with a family history of the disease, the LINE-1 in their tumor cells was nearly bare of methyl groups (a condition known as hypomethylation).

"Previous studies have suggested that some colorectal cancers exhibit an instability of the epigenome, the cell's system for controlling when genes are active," says Ogino, the paper's first author. "One of the signs of this deficiency, it was proposed, is hypomethylation of LINE-1. We wanted to find whether a family history of colorectal cancer creates a higher risk of such hypomethylation."

Fuchs is the paper's senior author.

In contrast to a small, previous study, which suggested that LINE-1 hypomethylated colorectal cancers cluster in certain families, the new study took a large-scale "prospective" approach to gain more definitive insights. Investigators used data from the Nurses' Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study -- which follow the health of tens of thousands of people for decades -- to see if participants who had a family history of colorectal cancer tended to develop colorectal cancer with low-level methylation of LINE-1.

"We found that, compared to individuals without a family history of colorectal cancer, people who had first-degree relatives affected with the disease indeed had a higher risk of developing colorectal cancer with hypomethylated LINE-1," Ogino says. "Because this variety of colorectal cancer can quickly become dangerous, testing colorectal cancer patients for tumor LINE-1 hypomethylation may offer a valuable way of identifying those in greatest need of aggressive treatment. Such testing could also help identify patients whose relatives may be at increased risk for the aggressive form of the disease. Further study is needed to determine how this type of testing can be used in a clinical setting."


Contact: Bill Schaller
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Related medicine news :

1. Older and younger chronic leukemia patients may need different therapy
2. Novel test identifies patients most likely to benefit from ALK inhibition therapy
3. RSNA: New Study Finds Brain Angioplasty and Stents Safe and Effective for Stroke Patients
4. Primary care physicians play vital role in caring for diabetes patients
5. Tiotropium has advantages for patients with COPD
6. Study Supports Use of Brain Stents for Certain Stroke Patients
7. Brain angioplasty and stents found safe and effective for stroke patients
8. Patients health service use
9. Gaps in Care Found for Sickle Cell Disease Patients
10. Reduced intensity regimen prior to marrow transplant better for older leukemia patients
11. Novel therapeutic agents provide hope for patients with hard-to-treat blood disorders
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Patients with family history of colorectal cancer may be at risk for aggressive form of the disease
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... The rapid speed ... As people age, more care is needed, especially with Alzheimer’s, dementia and other ... are being overworked. The forgotten part of this equation: 80 percent of medical ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... ... Lizzie’s Lice Pickers just announced a special promotion that will run throughout ... of lice treatment product. In addition, customers will receive a complimentary head Check when ... is a sure way to ruin the holidays, so we encourage all of our ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... Fairfax, VVA (PRWEB) , ... November 27, 2015 ... ... (RBMA) motto of progress through sharing, the 2016 Building Better Radiology ... campaigns. The conference will begin on Sunday, March 6, 2016, at Caesars Palace ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... Bangalore, Karnataka (PRWEB) , ... November 27, 2015 ... ... the world, Health-E-minds, an innovative online platform for mental health and wellness consultation, ... KleverKid. , This partnership will bridge the knowledge gap experienced by parents and ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... Avid collector, Andrew Hawley ... Michigan boxing style concert posters. This is one of Joplin's most famous and beautiful ... at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. The According to Hawley, "It is ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... , November 26, 2015 ... the addition of the  "2016 Future ... Global Cell Surface Testing Market: Supplier ... to their offering.  --> ... of the  "2016 Future Horizons and ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... 26, 2015 ... of the  "2016 Future Horizons and ... Drug Monitoring (TDM) Market: Supplier Shares, ... Opportunities"  report to their offering.  ... the addition of the  "2016 Future ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... , November 26, 2015 ... of the "Radioimmunoassay Market by Type ... Pharmaceutical Industry, Academics, Clinical Diagnostic Labs), Application ... Forecast to 2020" report to their ... announced the addition of the "Radioimmunoassay ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: