Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Abnormal DNA Repair Genes May Predict Pancreatic Cancer Risk

Date:
January 18, 2009
Source:
University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center
Summary:
Abnormalities in genes that repair mistakes in DNA replication may help identify people who are at high risk of developing pancreatic cancer, scientists report in Clinical Cancer Research.

Abnormalities in genes that repair mistakes in DNA replication may help identify people who are at high risk of developing pancreatic cancer, a research team from The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center reports in the Jan. 15 issue of Clinical Cancer Research.

Defects in these critical DNA repair genes may act alone or in combination with traditional risk factors known to increase an individual's likelihood of being diagnosed with this very aggressive type of cancer.

"We consider DNA repair to be the guardian of the genome," said lead author Donghui Li, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Gastrointestinal Medical Oncology at M. D. Anderson. "If something is wrong with the guard, the genes are more readily attacked by tobacco carcinogens and other damaging agents."

With this in mind, Li and her colleagues set out to identify DNA repair genes that could act as susceptibility markers to predict pancreatic cancer risk. In a case-control study of 734 patients with pancreatic cancer and 780 healthy individuals, they examined nine variants of seven DNA repair genes. The repair genes under investigation were: LIG3, LIG4, OGG1, ATM, POLB, RAD54L and RECQL.

The researchers looked for direct effects of the gene variants (also called single nucleotide polymorphisms) on pancreatic cancer risk as well as potential interactions between the gene variants and known risk factors for the disease, including family history of cancer, diabetes, heavy smoking, heavy alcohol consumption and being overweight.

The M. D. Anderson team found that the risk of developing pancreatic cancer was 77 percent lower among individuals with the variant form of the LIG3 gene (LIG3 G-39A AA). In contrast, people who carried the variant form of the ATM gene (ATM D1853N AA) were more than twice as likely to develop the disease as those without the genetic variation.

When the investigators examined possible interactions between gene variants and known risk factors, they found no significant interplay between the abnormal DNA repair genes and smoking, heavy alcohol consumption or excess body weight. However, two of the gene variants (ATM D1853N and LIG4 C54T) did interact with diabetes to affect pancreatic cancer risk.

For example, compared to non-diabetics with the ATM D1853N GG genotype, diabetics carrying the ATM D1853N GA/AA genotypes had more than triple the risk of developing pancreatic cancer. Similarly, compared to non-diabetics with the LIG4 CC genotype, diabetics with the LIG4 CT/TT genotype had more than double the risk of developing the disease.

Li noted that the ultimate goal of this research is to identify high-risk individuals for closer scrutiny and follow up.

"We know that people with diabetes have a higher risk of developing pancreatic cancer, but we don't know who will actually develop the disease and who will not," Li said. "The same is true for smokers. But we can't do CT scans on every diabetic or every smoker.

"We need to develop biomarkers that will enable us to do a quick genetic test on a diabetic patient, heavy smoker or someone with a family history of pancreatic cancer," she continued. "We could then do a screening test, identify those with the highest risk, and monitor them more closely."

Understanding the role of variant DNA repair genes in the development and prognosis of pancreatic cancer would also give researchers more insight into their functional significance. This increased knowledge should promote the development of new therapeutic strategies to target these abnormal genes.

The research was funded by grants from the National Cancer Institute, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences Center, and the Lockton Pancreatic Cancer Research Funds.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center. "Abnormal DNA Repair Genes May Predict Pancreatic Cancer Risk." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 January 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090115081515.htm>.
University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center. (2009, January 18). Abnormal DNA Repair Genes May Predict Pancreatic Cancer Risk. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090115081515.htm
University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center. "Abnormal DNA Repair Genes May Predict Pancreatic Cancer Risk." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090115081515.htm (accessed October 21, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

CDC Revamps Ebola Guidelines After Criticism

CDC Revamps Ebola Guidelines After Criticism

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have issued new protocols for healthcare workers interacting with Ebola patients. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) A medical team has for the first time given a man the ability to walk again after transplanting cells from his brain onto his severed spinal cord. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC Issues New Ebola Guidelines for Health Workers

CDC Issues New Ebola Guidelines for Health Workers

Reuters - US Online Video (Oct. 21, 2014) The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has set up new guidelines for health workers taking care of patients infected with Ebola. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Cadaver Dog' Sniffs out Human Remains

'Cadaver Dog' Sniffs out Human Remains

AP (Oct. 21, 2014) Where's a body buried? Buster's nose can often tell you. He's a cadaver dog, specially trained to find human remains and increasingly being used by law enforcement and accepted in courts. These dogs are helping solve even decades-old mysteries. (Oct. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins