Feeds

US colon cancer risk blamed on English couple

Founder genetic mutation fingered

High performance access to file storage

US researchers have identified a married couple who sailed from England to the US in around 1630 as the bearers of a genetic mutation which puts their numerous descendants at higher risk of a hereditary form of colon cancer.

Reuters explains that cancer researchers at the Huntsman Cancer Institute in Utah began to look into a local "family", currently numbering about 5,000 people, "because its members had an unusually high risk of colon cancer". Over 14 years they scoured detailed Mormon church records, in the process identifying another group in New York at similar risk. The genetic trail from both eventually led back to the British pair.

Study leader Deb Neklason said: "The fact that this mutation can be traced so far back in time suggests it could be carried by many more families in the United States than is currently known. In fact, this founder mutation might be related to many colon cancer cases in the United States."

The mutation in question provokes "attenuated familial adenomatous polyposis" (AFAP), which makes people "more prone to developing polyps that can cause colon cancer". In the absence of adequate treatment, the carriers are at a "greater than 2 in 3 risk of developing colon cancer by age 80, compared to about 1 in 24 for the general population".

Neklason concluded: "This study highlights that you need to pay attention to your family history. With intervention to remove the polyps, the risk goes to near nothing."

The study on the unnamed families is published in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology. ®

Bootnote

Colorectal cancer is the "third-leading cause of cancer death in the United States" and will kill 52,000 people in the US in 2008, according to the American Cancer Society.

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Elon Musk's LEAKY THRUSTER gas stalls Space Station supply run
Helium seeps from Falcon 9 first stage, delays new legs for NASA robonaut
Solar-powered aircraft unveiled for round-the-world flight
It's going to be a slow and sleepy flight for the pilots
Russian deputy PM: 'We are coming to the Moon FOREVER'
Plans to annex Earth's satellite with permanent base by 2030
LOHAN's Punch and Judy show relaunches Thursday
Weather looking good for second pop at test flights
New FEMTO-MOON sighted BIRTHING from Saturn's RING
Icy 'Peggy' looks to be leaving the outer rings
KILLER SPONGES menacing California coastline
Surfers are safe, crustaceans less so
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
Curiosity finds not-very-Australian-shaped rock on Mars
File under 'messianic pastries' and move on, people
Top Secret US payload launched into space successfully
Clandestine NRO spacecraft sets off on its unknown mission
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.