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Colon cancer blog: Defective gene that leads to Colon Cancer

Colon cancer blog Colon cancer main Treatment of colon cancer  

Sep 28, 2005

Defective gene that leads to Colon Cancer

Defective gene that leads to Colon CancerResearchers have long established that defective genes are involved in the development of colorectal cancers. Now a group of researchers have found that inactivation of a specific gene may be the underlying molecular defect leading to the development of some colorectal cancers.

A gene, called 06-methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase (MGMT), is involved in the repair of DNA. The team from the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston has stated that the detection of changes in MGMT would help in measuring a person's risk for colorectal cancer.
In this study, researchers analyzed samples from 95 colorectal cancer patients and 33 people without cancer. MGMT promoter methylation was found in 50 percent to 94 percent of colorectal tumors.
The researchers have reported their findings in a recent issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Where does a cancer start?
It is now known to doctors and scientist that cancer can begin in region of cells with what's called a "field defect." These cells appear normal but have an underlying molecular defect. In colorectal cancer cells, MGMT is often methylated, resulting in an unhealthy inactivation of the gene.

The researchers have written that given the high lifetime risk of colorectal tumor development in the U.S. population, it is reasonable to propose testing, to determine whether healthy persons with MGMT promoter methylation in normal colorectal [lining] are at higher risk of developing a colon tumor than those without such methylation.

Sue      Return to Colon Cancer Blog Main


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Colorectal cancer
Colorectal cancer is a malignant tumor that arises from the inner wall of the large intestine or rectum. Colorectal cancer is the third commonest cancer diagnosed in the United States. Each year over 100,000 people are diagnosed with colorectal cancer in the United States. Most, of these cancers develop from growths in the colon called polyps. Removal of these polyps can prevent colon cancer.

Colon cancer blog: Defective gene that leads to Colon Cancer

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