Jul 8, '07
Bowel cancer risk gene pinpointed
UK scientists have identified a gene they say increases the risk of bowel cancer by 20%.
Researchers from London and Edinburgh pinpointed the gene after scanning the DNA of over 30,000 people - half of whom had the disease.
Writing in Nature Genetics, they estimate that half the population carry the genetic fault which is associated with one in 10 bowel cancers.
However, the increased risk is too small to warrant a genetic test.
By identifying these genetic variants, we will be in a better position to understand how such changes can lead to cancer
Professor Malcolm Dunlop
In the future, as more genes associated with the condition are identified, it may be possible to design a test for a combination of genes to identify those most at risk, improving prevention and diagnosis, the researchers said.
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