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A New Test Developed to Identify Suspected Bowel Cancer Patients

by Medindia Content Team on June 29, 2006 at 11:24 AM
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A New Test Developed to Identify Suspected Bowel Cancer Patients

Researchers have announced a new test to identify patients who develop bowel cancer as they have a particular gene that could be at fault is unveiled today.

An Edinburgh University team conducted the test study, and they presented their report in the New England Journal of Medicine. They explained that the tests would help to make certain that these patients could then get the best treatment and will help identify relatives with the same mutation who might have a great increase in the risk of cancer.

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The researchers said that around 20,000 people in the general population are thought to have this exacting class of genetic defect, which is associated with a very high risk of cancer. They explained that the biggest challenge was to identify these people, so as to start preventive measures before the disease kicks in or very early in its stage, so as to have a much higher rates of success in controlling it. It was explained that this study that has been reported was a significant step towards this goal.

The researchers explained that the team had developed the test in a long-term study that involved 870 patients, primarily focusing on the faults in three genes, MLH1, MSH2 and MSH6, which are considered responsible for proteins that help to prevent the DNA damage that are linked with tumour development.
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The findings of the team showed that 38, about4% of the patients had faulty genes, almost twice as many as suggested by previous estimates. Prof Malcolm Dunlop, one of the researcher said, 'In the long term, we hope the results of this study will help identify all bowel cancer patients who carry one of these gene faults and then offer tests to their relatives who have not yet developed cancer, so that we can prevent the development of cancer.'

Prof Alex Markham, the chief executive of Cancer Research UK, said: 'These are very valuable findings that will help scientists better understand the process of bowel cancer development, particularly in people who are diagnosed at a young age.'

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