MedicineWorld.Org
Your gateway to the world of medicine
Home
News
Cancer News
About Us
Cancer
Health Professionals
Patients and public
Contact Us
Disclaimer

Medicineworld.org: A possible biomarker for colon cancer

Back to colon cancer blog Blogs list Cancer blog  


Subscribe To Colon Cancer Blog RSS Feed  RSS content feed What is RSS feed?

A possible biomarker for colon cancer




An abnormality of chromosomes long linked to diseases of aging has, for the first time, been associated with colon cancer in people 50 years old and younger, an age group commonly considered young for this disease.

The finding may provide an early alert for younger colon cancer patients and could prompt new research into colon cancer prevention and therapy strategies, say Mayo Clinic researchers.

The study results will be presented at 10 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 27, during the annual meeting of the American Society of Human Genetics in San Diego.



A possible biomarker for colon cancer

The Mayo Clinic team led by Lisa Boardman, M.D., a specialist in gastrointestinal malignancies, investigated the structures inside of cells known as telomeres, which are the caps on the ends of chromosomes that keep chromosomes from unraveling. Telomeres naturally shorten with aging and are linked to a number of diseases of aging, including cancer. Shortened telomeres have been found in colon cancer tumor cells, but this study links these telomeres to colon cancer.

Dr. Boardman and an interdisciplinary group of scientists examined the DNA in blood samples of 114 patients with colon cancer 50 years old and younger and 98 people with no history of cancer. They observed that the patients with colon cancer had abnormal telomeres that were uncommonly short, especially for a group of patients considered young for colon cancer: patients in the study were about 15 years younger than the average age of colon cancer patients. In addition, colon cancer in this younger group affected men more often than women.

Colon cancer, also called colorectal cancer or bowel cancer, includes malignant growths in the colon, rectum and appendix. Its the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States, affecting nearly 145,000 people each year. The first cases tend to appear in people in their 40s, but most patients tend to be in their mid 60s by the time they are diagnosed.

Each year about 25,000 people 50 years old or younger are diagnosed with colon cancer, accounting for up to 17 percent of all cases which could potentially be affected by the outcomes of this study. Colon cancer is among the top 10 cancers to affect people between 20 to 49 years old, the authors report.

Unfortunately, young people diagnosed with colon cancer are more likely to be in the later stage of the disease. This group also is more likely to develop rectal cancer as in comparison to older patients. This information led scientists to suspect that colon cancer in younger people is biologically distinct from colon cancer in older patients.

To researchers, this association between cancer and prematurely short telomeres raises the possibility of one day using telomere length as a biomarker of cancer or an early warning system that can alert physicians to pre-symptomatic malignant changes that are underway.

Finding this association between patients with colon cancer and increased telomere shortening is exciting because, if validated, it really opens up new possibilities for new therapy strategies. For example, we know that telomere length can be repaired, so we want to look at telomere maintenance genes which, when defective, might very well contribute to cancer, she said.

Scientists intend to look at other associations that shorten telomere length. These include environmental factors, such as increased body mass index and smoking.

We know that cancer is a disease of the environment and genes, both of which affect telomeres. If we can understand how this happens, it could lead us to develop therapies to reverse premature telomere shortening, stall it or protect the telomeres from destructive influences in the first place, Dr. Boardman says.


Posted by: Sue    Source




Did you know?
An abnormality of chromosomes long linked to diseases of aging has, for the first time, been associated with colon cancer in people 50 years old and younger, an age group commonly considered young for this disease. The finding may provide an early alert for younger colon cancer patients and could prompt new research into colon cancer prevention and therapy strategies, say Mayo Clinic researchers.

Medicineworld.org: A possible biomarker for colon cancer

Main Page| Cancer blog| Cancer blogs list| Lung cancer blog| Colon cancer blog| Prostate cancer blog| Breast cancer blog| Diabetes watch blog| Heart watch blog| Allergy blog| Bladder cancer blog| Cervical cancer blog| Colon cancer news blog| Diabetes news blog| Esophageal cancer blog| Gastric cancer blog| Health news blog| Heart news blog| Infectious disease blog| Kidney watch blog| Lung disease blog| Lung cancer news blog| Mesothelioma blog| Neurology blog| Breast cancer news blog| OBGYN blog| Ophthalmology blog| Ovarian cancer blog| Cancer news blog| Pancreas cancer blog| Pediatrics blog| Prostate cancer news blog| Psychology blog| Research blog| Rheumatology blog| Society news blog| Uterine cancer blog| Weight watch blog|

Copyright statement
The contents of this web page are protected. Legal action may follow for reproduction of materials without permission.