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Thursday, November 16, 2006

Genetics can help in predicting bowel cancer

The Australian – Identifying the composition of a gene in people predisposed to bowel cancer may enable scientists to predict the age at which they are likely to develop the disease, new research shows.

Scientists at the University of Newcastle and John Hunter Hospital studied 220 people with a genetic predisposition to colorectal cancer. They identified a genetic difference that could determine whether the people would be older or younger when they could potentially develop the disease. The DNA of the gene which predisposes people to the colorectal cancer is made up out of an average of 18 to 20 "repeated units".
NBN Childhood Cancer Research Fellow Professor Rodney Scott said the study found people with 18 or fewer repeated units tend to develop the disease up to two decades earlier than their counterparts with 19 or more repeated units.

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