Tuesday October 16 5:24 PM ET
"DNA Repair Defect May Lead to Brain Tumor"
DNA Repair Defect May Lead to Brain Tumor
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Researchers have discovered a
defect in the body's natural DNA repair mechanisms that may
cause a deadly form of brain tumor called malignant glioma.
Lead investigator Dr. Melissa L. Bondy of the University of
Texas in Houston told Reuters Health that patients with the
brain cancer were twice as likely to have poor DNA repair
In the study, the researchers exposed blood samples from
219 patients who were diagnosed with glioma and 238 healthy
individuals to a kind of radiation known as gamma radiation.
Then they counted the number of "breaks" in DNA after the cells
should have had enough time to repair themselves, Bondy
Patients with glioma were two times more sensitive to gamma
radiation-induced DNA breaks than patients without the disease,
according to the report in the October 17th issue of the
Journal of the National Cancer Institute (news - web sites).
"Our findings confirm that the sensitivity to gamma
radiation and the subsequent inability to repair
radiation-induced DNA damage may increase the risk for (tumor
formation)," Bondy and colleagues conclude.
"These findings suggest that a measurable DNA repair defect
may underlie the formation of gliomas," Dr. Kenneth J. Dornfeld
and Theodore S. Lawrence of the University of Michigan in Ann
Arbor write in an accompanying editorial. They note that
breast, colon, and neck cancers are also associated with such
Malignant glioma is an aggressive type of brain cancer that
does not respond well to treatment. Most people with the
disease die within a year of being diagnosed.
SOURCE: Journal of the National Cancer Institute
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