Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Location of potential familial lung cancer gene discovered

27.07.2004


Researchers have discovered a possible inherited component for lung cancer, a disease normally associated with external causes, such as cigarette smoking. An interdisciplinary consortium consisting of 12 research institutions and universities, including the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), both part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), identified a major lung cancer susceptibility region on a segment of chromosome 6. The findings appear in a just-posted-online edition of American Journal of Human Genetics and will appear in print in the September 2004 issue.

The Genetic Epidemiology of Lung Cancer Consortium (GELCC) examined 52 families who had at least three first-degree family members affected by lung, throat, or laryngeal cancer. Of these 52 families, 36 had affected members in at least two generations. Using 392 known genetic markers, which are DNA sequences that are known to be common sites of genetic variation, the researchers generated and then compared the alleles (the different variations each gene can take) of all affected and non-affected family members who were willing to participate in the study.

The researchers found strong evidence that a lung cancer susceptibility gene or genes is co-inherited with a genetic marker on chromosome 6. Markers on chromosomes 12, 14, and 20 also indicated possible linkage to lung cancer susceptibility, although the results were not as strong. Identifying the locus was a critical first step, but more work needs to be done.



"The genetic markers are like those mileage markers you see on the side of the highway," explained NCI’s Jonathon Wiest, Ph.D. "They can be very useful for broad navigational purposes, but at the same time they don’t give you precise information about all the interesting things that may lie along the highway."

The next goal for these researchers is to more closely examine this region of chromosome 6 with the aim of locating the exact gene or genes that cause lung cancer susceptibility. The identified region corresponds to roughly a 20 million base pair segment on the long arm of chromosome 6. The region contains numerous genes that are likely candidates for the susceptibility gene, including four suspected tumor suppressor genes. However, Wiest pointed out that "often you can discover a new function for a gene that normally works in a different cellular pathway, so you never know what you’re going to find."

Another interesting discovery the team made involved the effects of smoking on cancer risk for carriers and non-carriers of the predicted familial lung cancer gene. They found that in non-carriers, the more they smoked, the greater their risk of cancer. In carriers, on the other hand, any amount of smoking increased lung cancer risk. These findings suggest that smoking even a small amount can lead to cancer for individuals with inherited susceptibility.

The researchers also plan to continue screening additional families who could have familial lung cancer, to confirm this particular susceptibility region, and perhaps find additional regions. "The discovery of genes for other types of cancer has led to better understanding of those diseases, which in turn can lead to better strategies for treatment and prevention. We hope that uncovering a gene or genes responsible for lung cancer will do the same for this devastating disease," said co-lead author Joan Bailey-Wilson, Ph.D., NHGRI.

Lung cancer is by far the leading cause of cancer death in the United States (over 160,000 deaths expected in 2004), and the five-year survival rate is only 15 percent. Such a high mortality, combined with the large amount of spontaneous lung cancers that arise from smoking, makes finding potential histories of familial lung cancer or collecting genetic samples extremely difficult and time consuming. "This study is just further proof of the importance of cooperative efforts and large-scale science in genetic epidemiology research," said Daniela Seminara, Ph.D., NCI.

Geoff Spencer | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.nih.gov

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht How brains surrender to sleep
23.06.2017 | IMP - Forschungsinstitut für Molekulare Pathologie GmbH

nachricht A new technique isolates neuronal activity during memory consolidation
22.06.2017 | Spanish National Research Council (CSIC)

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum thermometer or optical refrigerator?

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved at EPFL

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Equipping form with function

23.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>