A US research team has discovered a new genetic marker that can identify women who have a high risk of inherited ovarian cancer.
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Scientists from Yale University in Connecticut found a mutant version of the KRAS gene in a quarter of all ovarian cancer patients, but it was present in 61% of sufferers who had a family history of ovarian and breast cancer.
The researchers first looked for the KRAS gene among ovarian cancer patients, finding it among 25% of those studied, Cancer Research journal reported. Patients with a strong family history of ovarian and breast cancer were then looked at specifically, with 61% testing positive for the gene.
Study leader Dr Joanne Weidhaas said: “For many women out there with a strong family history of ovarian cancer who previously have had no identified genetic cause of their family’s disease, this might be it for them. “Our findings support that the KRAS variant is a new genetic marker of ovarian cancer risk.”