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Cancer hotspots pinpointed

3rd April 2013

A study funded by the Wellcome Trust and Cancer Research UK has discovered over 80 regions of the genome that can heighten a person's danger of developing prostate, breast and ovarian cancer.

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The Collaborative Oncological Gene-environment Study (COGS) research is headed by scientists at the University of Cambridge and The Institute of Cancer Research, London.

The researchers, who studied 100,000 people with cancer and 100,000 people "from the general population", looked for genetic variations which were more prevalent in people with breast, ovarian or prostate cancer.

Professor Doug Easton, a Cancer Research UK scientist at the University of Cambridge and the study's author, said: "We're on the verge of being able to use our knowledge of these genetic variations to develop tests that could complement breast cancer screening and take us a step closer to having an effective prostate cancer screening programme."

"By looking for people who carry most of these variations, we will be able to identify those who are at the greatest risk of getting these cancers and then targeting screening tests to these individuals."

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