Skip to content

Vanderbilt-led study identifies genes linked to breast cancer in East Asian women.

A new study in East Asian women has identified three genetic changes linked to an increased risk of breast cancer. The research was led by Vanderbilt University.

While breast cancer is one of the most common malignancies among women worldwide, most studies of the genetic risk factors for the disease have focused on women of European ancestry.  Given the differences in genetic heritage and environmental exposures between East Asian women and those of European ancestry, the investigators decided to conduct a study in East Asians to search for genetic changes that are linked to breast cancer development. The current study was conducted as part of the Asia Breast Cancer Consortium.

The team performed a genome-wide association study of 22,780 women with breast cancer, and 24,181 control subjects who were recruited in 14 studies in Asian countries, including China, Japan, Korea, Malaysia and Singapore.  DNA for the gene assays was obtained through blood samples or buccal cells from mouthwash.

The team found that DNA sequence changes in two genes, PRC1 and ZC3H11A, and a change near the ARRDC3 gene were associated with breast cancer risk and they identified a possible association with a fourth gene locus.  Two of those sequence changes are in parts of the genome that regulate the expression of nearby genes.  ARRDC3 and PRC1 genes were previously linked to breast cancer growth and poor survival in breast cancer patients, respectively. The role of ZC3H11A in breast cancer is unknown.  These DNA sequence changes may affect the regulation of cell growth, tumour cell migration and invasion, or metastasis.

These results were also replicated in a large consortium, including 16,003 breast cancer cases and 41,335 control subjects of European ancestry, as reported by the authors.

The risk of breast cancer conferred by each of these new genetic markers is relatively small. However, these new markers could be combined in the future with other breast cancer predictors, including genetic markers identified previously, to identify potentially high-risk women for screening and other prevention programs.

Results from this study provide additional insights into the genetics and biology of breast cancer. Based on these findings, the researchers say further studies of possible mechanisms through which these loci and genes are involved in breast cancer development are warranted.

Source:  Vanderbilt University Medical Center

 

A false-colour, scanning-electron microscope image of a breast cancer cell.  Photo by Science Photo Library/Getty.
A false-colour, scanning-electron microscope image of a breast cancer cell. Photo by Science Photo Library/Getty.

Healthinnovations View All

Michelle Petersen is the founder of Healthinnovations, having worked in the health and science industry for over 21 years, which includes tenure within the NHS and Oxford University. Healthinnovations is a publication that has reported on, influenced, and researched current and future innovations in health for the past decade.

Michelle has been picked up as an expert writer for Informa publisher’s Clinical Trials community, as well as being listed as a blog source by the world’s leading medical journals, including the acclaimed Nature-Springer journal series.

Healthinnovations is currently indexed by the trusted Altmetric and PlumX metrics systems, respectively, as a blog source for published research globally. Healthinnovations is also featured in the world-renowned BioPortfolio, BioPortfolio.com, the life science, pharmaceutical and healthcare portal.

Most recently the Texas A&M University covered The Top 10 Healthinnovations series on their site with distinguished Professor Stephen Maren calling the inclusion of himself and his team on the list a reflection of “the hard work and dedication of my students and trainees”.

Michelle Petersen’s copy was used in the highly successful marketing campaign for the mega-hit film ‘Jumanji: The Next Level, starring Jack Black, Karen Gilian, Kevin Hart and Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson. Michelle Petersen’s copywriting was part of the film’s coverage by the Republic TV network. Republic TV is the most-watched English language TV channel in India since its inception in 2017.

An avid campaigner in the fight against child sex abuse and trafficking, Michelle is a passionate humanist striving for a better quality of life for all humans by helping to provide traction for new technologies and techniques within healthcare.

Leave a Reply

Translate »