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Epigenetics of breast cancer family history

Date:
January 7, 2014
Source:
Landes Bioscience
Summary:
Researchers have examined whether a specific epigenetic modification (more specifically, methylation of the DNA) can be associated to breast cancer family history in unaffected women from high-risk breast cancer families.

Breast cancer runs in families; however, genetic predisposition (such as being BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation carriers) explains only a portion of this observation. Epigenetic changes (modifications in the genome that alter gene expression but do not affect the DNA sequence per se) have been shown to also play a role in breast cancer risk.

Researchers from the Columbia University Medical Center in New York have now examined whether a specific epigenetic modification (more specifically, methylation of the DNA) can be associated to breast cancer family history in unaffected women from high-risk breast cancer families. This important work suggests that the levels of DNA methylation in white blood cells from cancer-free women could be one of the factors playing a role in the clustering of breast cancer in families with extensive cancer histories within its members.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Landes Bioscience. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Lissette Delgado-Cruzata, Hui-Chen Wu, Yuyan Liao, Regina M Santella, Mary Beth Terry. Changes in DNA methylation by extent of breast cancer family history in unaffected women. Epigenetics, 2014; 9 (2) DOI: 10.4161/epi.26880

Cite This Page:

Landes Bioscience. "Epigenetics of breast cancer family history." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 January 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140107172017.htm>.
Landes Bioscience. (2014, January 7). Epigenetics of breast cancer family history. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140107172017.htm
Landes Bioscience. "Epigenetics of breast cancer family history." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140107172017.htm (accessed August 23, 2014).

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