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Wednesday 26th October 2016

Bowel cancer racial find

31st March 2008

Scientists working in the UK have identified three genes which increase the danger of a person developing bowel cancer.


The scientists from the University of Edinburgh, Cancer Research UK's London Research Unit and the Institute of Cancer Research discovered that one gene increased the danger of the disease in subjects of European origin, but not in Japanese subjects.

This is the first discovery of a race-specific gene in bowel cancer and may influence further research to discover if Japanese people have more resistance to the cancer.

The discovery adds to the knowledge of four other gene variations which have been linked with the cancer and could help to identify people with an increased likelihood of the disease.

Professor Malcolm Dunlop, at the Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine at the University of Edinburgh and the head of the team, stated the discovery of the race-specific gene was "an important step forward in our knowledge of the causes of bowel cancer, bringing us ever closer to a genetic test for those at high risk of the disease."

The health service is in the process of implementing a bowel cancer checking scheme across the country, with the intention of catching the disease early on.

Dr Lesley Walker, from Cancer Research UK, said: "We can now begin to explain some of the difference in rates of the disease between populations through specific genes."

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