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DNA Repair Defect May Lead to Brain Tumor (Reuters) 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. - Oct 16 5:24 PM ET


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Website: http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/nm/20011016/hl/dna_1.html

Posted on: 10/16/2001

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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 capacity.

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 explained.

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 defects.

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 2001;93:1553-1557.

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