Scientists have identified 34 genes which are found to be linked with increased risk of developing the earliest stages of ovarian cancer, a study published in the journal Nature Genetics revealed.
It will help researchers to identify women who are vulnerable to ovarian cancer and help them plan new treatment therapies, targeting specific genes.
Throwing more light on the latest discovery, Bogdan Pasaniuc, one of the researchers, said: “If you detect ovarian cancer really early, then the survival rate is very high, nearly 90 per cent. But that doesn’t happen often. Most cases are found at a later stage and survival drops dramatically. That’s why we want to understand the genetics behind it- so we can do a better job at predicting who is at a higher risk of developing this cancer.”
The current study builds on previous research of large-scale genetic data gathered over more than a decade by the Ovarian Cancer Association Consortium. Those researchers compared the genetic profiles of about 25,000 women with ovarian cancer and 45,000 women without the disease.
“This study also shows how critical it is to study the specific cells from which ovarian cancers arise. Collecting normal ovaries and fallopian tubes enabled us to map the molecular fingerprints of these specific cell types in a large cohort of women. This has enabled us to identify the features that relate to cancer risk in the correct tissue type,” said Kate Lawrenson, another researcher.