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Researchers Found Genetic Markers for Cancer

Update Date: Mar 27, 2013 01:55 PM EDT

Prescreening patients for their risks in developing certain cancers might have gotten more efficient. Due to a large-scale study that analyzed the genetic makeups of humans, researchers uncovered more genetic markers involved with a person's chances of getting breast, ovarian or prostate cancer. According to these scientists, there are over a dozen markers that can be found in the DNA, which can help scientists and researchers better under the manifestations of these cancers.

The study, which involved over 100 different institutions, looked at the genes of 200,000 participants. Based from the DNA compiled in this study, the researchers found several markers that can help estimate a patient's likelihood in developing one of the three cancers. Although the markers do not necessarily mean that cancer will definitely develop, this type of research can help prescreen patients at risk and offer them better preventative measures. Researchers stated that this finding might be able to help isolate the men and women who might need more frequent mammograms, PSA tests and prostate biopsies.  

The researchers uncovered 49 risk markers for breast cancer alone. They also found 26 markers for prostate cancer and eight for ovarian cancer. Based on certain analyses from the data, the researchers stated that certain genetic markers identified a 60 percent increased risk for people with a family history of prostate cancer. The genetic markers in conjunction with family history and other factors can significantly improve the efficiency of determining which patients are more at risk for the any of the three cancers.

Researchers who were not a part of the study also stated that the findings offer a promising viewpoint on how people can be screened for cancers in the future.

The results were published in Nature Genetics and PLoS Genetics.

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