Blood from families at risk contributed to discovery
A team of researchers from University Hospitals of Cleveland (UHC) and Case Western Reserve University have identified a specific location on a human chromosome that can be linked to familial cases of colon cancer--the type of colon cancer that tends to run in families.
Research published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS article #2286) identifies a specific stretch of DNA on chromosome 9 that houses a "susceptibility" gene. "Previous studies have shown that colon cancer risk can be inherited," says Sanford Markowitz, MD, principal investigator for the study. "By analyzing blood samples from 53 families, in which at least one member of the family had a colon cancer or pre-cancerous colon polyp, we were able to find a common link. This moves us much closer to developing a blood test that will identify people who are susceptible to colon cancer well before the cancer ever develops." Dr. Markowitz is a professor of cancer genetics at Case, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator, and treats patients at University Hospitals Ireland Cancer Center.
Eileen Korey | EurekAlert!
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