So-called junk DNA affects inherited cancer risk {Taj Biogen Cancer Initiative}

This new study shows that inherited cancer risk is not only affected by mutations in key cancer genes ? known as oncogenes and tumour suppressor genes ? but that variations in the DNA that controls the expression of these genes can also drive the disease.

Led by an international team of scientists, this research sheds new light on why some people develop cancer, while others don?t. Understanding how non-coding DNA affects the development of this disease could one day improve genetic screening for cancer risk. And in the future, this could lead to new prevention strategies, or help doctors diagnose the disease earlier, when it is more likely to be treated successfully.

The researchers investigated 846 genetic changes within non-coding stretches of DNA, identified by previous studies as affecting cancer risk. These Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs) are particular positions in the human genome where a single letter of the genetic code varies between people.

Unlike mutations in coding DNA, such as BRCA, that are rare but significantly raise a person?s risk of developing cancer, non-coding SNPs are relatively common in the population but only slightly increase cancer risk.

The team analysed whether there was a correlation between the presence of a particular SNP and the expression of particular genes. In total, they looked at over 6 million genetic variants across 13 different body tissues.

They found that variations in the regions that regulate the expression of oncogenes and tumour suppressor genes affect cancer risk. The study also revealed that these cancer-risk SNPs tend to be specifically located in regions that regulate the immune system and tissue-specific processes ? highlighting the importance of these cellular processes to the development of cancer.

Professor John Quackenbush, lead researcher of the study from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, said: ?What we found surprised us as it had never been reported before ? our results show that small genetic variations work collectively to subtly shift the activity of genes that drive cancer. We hope that this approach could one day save lives by helping to identify people at risk of cancer, as well as other complex diseases.?

The researchers? next step will be to develop AI models to better predict cancer risk. They also aim to identify ?control centres? that regulate the expression of many genes relevant to cancer development, which could be targeted by new cancer treatments.

Dr Emily Farthing, senior research information manager at Cancer Research UK, said: ?While minor genetic changes only have a small impact on cancer risk, the variations analysed in this study are numerous and common in the population. This could begin to explain some of the variation in cancer incidence between individuals and families that cannot be explained through well-known cancer-risk genes or lifestyle factors alone.?

Source: Uk cancer research

Tags: Types of Cancer, Cancer Research, Cancer treatment, Gene therapy, Genetic Changes, Generic drug cancer, Tumour, DNA, Scientists, cancer risk, Hereditary disease

About Taj Pharma

Taj Pharmaceuticals is the global leader in generics and one of the India?s top ten pharmaceutical companies. Taj Pharma India play a leading role in therapeutic areas such as cancer, virology and transplantation. The combined strengths of Taj Pharma generics and pharmaceuticals businesses, coupled with expertise in the emerging genetic sciences, equip us to develop integrated healthcare solutions and therapeutic approaches tailored to individual patients? needs.

Taj Pharmaceuticals respect the contributions of health care providers caring for people living with Cancer diseases. We honor the important role of caregivers, families and mentors who care about them.  

Taj Pharmaceuticals is committed to working with advocacy and patient organizations as they serve the communities they represent. 

Recognizing the challenges facing health care systems today, we collaborate with regulatory authorities and customers such as health care providers and payers, so that those in need can access our medicines. 

Note for the readers:

Our Toll Free no; are working 24×7 to help patients.

Call us: We are Listening you :

Toll Free No: 1800-222-434 / 1800-222-825