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 September 17, 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 September 17, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) President Obama is expected to send 3,000 troops to West Africa as part of the effort to contain Ebola's spread. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) A Texas man is lucky to be alive after he and three others floated for more than a day in the Gulf of Mexico when their boat sank during a fishing trip. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ivorians Abandon Monkey Pets in Fear Over Ebola Virus

Ivorians Abandon Monkey Pets in Fear Over Ebola Virus

AFP (Sep. 16, 2014) Since the arrival of Ebola in Ivory Coast, Ivorians have been abandoning their pets, particularly monkeys, in the fear that they may transmit the virus. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Study Links Male-Pattern Baldness To Prostate Cancer

Study Links Male-Pattern Baldness To Prostate Cancer

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) New findings suggest men with a certain type of baldness at age 45 are 39 percent more likely to develop aggressive prostate cancer. Video provided by Newsy
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:
from the past week

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