Pancreatic cancer gene identified

Pancreatic cancer gene identified

A gene that may increase the hereditary risk for pancreatic cancer has been identified by researchers at John Hopkins.

The study found that mutations in the ATM gene may increase the risk of pancreatic cancer

Approximately ten per cent of patients with the condition come from families with multiple cases of pancreatic cancer.

"There was significant reason to believe this clustering was due to genetics, but we had not, to this point, been able to find the causative genes that explained the cluster of pancreatic cancer for a majority of these families," explained lead author Dr Alison Klein.

Using next-generation sequencing, including whole genome and whole exome analyses, Dr Klein and her collegues identified ATM gene mutations in two kindreds with familial pancreatic cancer.

A rare ATM gene mutation, combined with radiation exposure is also believed the risk of developing breast cancer.

The discovery may explain why a patient who has had breast cancer is at a greater risk of developing it in another breast.

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