September 23, 2010

4 Risk Factors For Ovarian Cancer

(Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Doctors cannot explain why one woman will develop ovarian cancer and another does not.  However, researchers have just identified four chromosome locations with genetic changes that are likely to alter a woman's risk of developing ovarian cancer.

Spanning three continents and over 24,000 women, these findings have come from a large genome-wide associated study (GWAS) that has helped move researchers a major step closer to individualized risk assessment for ovarian cancer.

"In searching the genome, we came up with some surprises on chromosomes 2, 3 and 17," which Ellen Goode, Ph.D., genetic epidemiologist at Mayo Clinic and lead author of the study, was quoted as saying.  "While examining the usual suspects in a region on chromosome 8, we found that SNP's (single nucleotide polymorphisms) associated with ovarian cancer risk were located quite a distance away from those associated with risk of other cancers, which suggest that they may act through a different mechanism."

Although more needs to be learned about the function of the specific chromosomal regions involved in susceptibility, researchers say that women at greatest risk due to these and other inherited changes may be offered increased surveillance or preventative measures in the future.

SOURCE: Nature Genetics, September 2010