Gene mutation is passed on from fathers to their daughters
Researchers have now identified a new gene mutation that can increase the risk of ovarian cancer. This mutation can only be passed on genetically from fathers to their daughters, as it is inherited via the X chromosome.
Scientists at the Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center in Buffalo, New York, have discovered a new gene mutation that increases the risk of ovarian cancer in women and is passed on from fathers to their daughters. The doctors published the results of their study in the English-language journal "PLoS Genetics".
The new gene needs to be better researched
The newly discovered gene (called MAGEC3) and the associated risk is inherited via the so-called X chromosome, regardless of other known so-called susceptibility genes, for which women can already be tested. The experts explain that further studies are now needed to better understand the identity and function of the gene.
Tests can already determine the BRCA gene today
Currently, women with a family history of cancer can be tested for the BRCA gene, which greatly increases a woman's likelihood of developing breast and ovarian cancer. For example, actress Angelina Jolie inherited the BRCA1 gene from her mother. She has had a preventive surgery after her doctors estimated that she was 87 percent at risk of breast cancer and 50 percent at risk of ovarian cancer.
X chromosomes play an important role
The researchers believe that there can be many other cases of apparently sporadic ovarian cancer that are actually inherited, some of them via the X chromosomes that girls get from their father.
Inherited genes affect the risk of cancer
Ovarian cancer associated with the genes inherited from the father and grandmother on the father's side led to an earlier age at which the disease occurs compared to diseases associated with maternal genes, the researchers report. This can also be observed, for example, with higher rates of prostate cancer in fathers and sons.
More research is needed
Further research must now ensure that medical professionals have identified the correct gene by sequencing more families of genes. The finding has sparked a lot of medical debate about how to find these gene families, says study author Kevin Eng of the Comprehensive Cancer Center Roswell Park in Buffalo.
Inherited defective genes lead to cancer
A family of three daughters, all of whom have ovarian cancer, will be more likely to be affected by inherited X chromosome mutations than BRCA mutations, the experts speculate. The current study results suggest that the risk of ovarian cancer in some women can be passed on through the family of their father and mother, the doctors explain.
Ovarian cancer is often recognized too late
In the future, this could help women with a family history of ovarian cancer to better assess their risk of developing cancer. This is particularly important because ovarian cancer is often diagnosed at a late stage when the disease is already more difficult to treat. These results, if confirmed by further research, would represent a significant advance in the prevention of ovarian cancer and save thousands of lives, the researchers hope. (as)