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Brain Cancer Linked to Repair Gene Glioma Patients Exhibit Common Mutation


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Website: http://www.cancerwise.org/October_2004/display.cfm?id=61A18901-5A8E-4E86-9E9CE0E04F3EA231&method=displayFull&color=red

Posted on: 10/05/2004

Brain Cancer Linked to Repair Gene Glioma Patients Exhibit Common Mutation

A gene responsible for repairing DNA damage has been linked to an increased risk of developing glioma, the most common and deadly form of brain cancer, and radiation exposure could be a factor, according to a new study.

The study, published in the Aug. 15 issue of the journal Cancer Research, is the first to associate glioma with a particular form (variant T allele) of the XRCC7 gene, which is known to rejoin chromosomes that have broken apart.

Patients with glioma are susceptible to breaks in chromosomes due to gamma-ray radiation, which can be found in soil, water and cancer treatments, M. D. Anderson researchers say. High doses of radiation, as seen in Japanese atomic bomb victims, cause an increased risk of developing brain cancer, but this study suggests that “everyday” radiation exposure may be a risk factor in people who inherit the XRCCT gene variant,” says one of the study’s authors, Melissa Bondy, Ph.D., a professor in the M. D. Anderson Department of Epidemiology.

Patients with variant at higher risk

Since some genes that repair DNA have already been linked to various forms of cancer, M. D. Anderson researchers tested whether common forms of several different repair genes were associated with an increased risk of developing brain tumors. Only the T variant of the XRCC7 gene was found more often in the patient group, compared to controls.

In the study, blood samples showed that the chance of inheriting the variant form of the XRCCT gene was 1.82 times higher among the study’s 309 glioma patients, compared to the 342 members of the control group who did not have cancer.

“We don’t know how important this genetic variant is, or how prevalent it is in the population, but the finding that significantly more patients with a glioma had this variant than did cancer-free individuals is interesting to us,” Bondy says.

The researchers also found that older males seem to have the gene form more often then women, but these results are preliminary and need further study, she says.




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