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231 new genes linked with head and neck cancer identified.

Washington, Oct 5 (ANI): Researchers at Henry Ford Hospital Henry Ford Hospital is a hospital located in Detroit, Michigan a few blocks from Wayne State University and the New Center area, near the Fisher Building and Cadillac Place. The hospital was founded in 1915 by Henry Ford as a philanthropic project.  have identified 231 new genes associated with head and neck cancer.

Earlier, only 33 genes were known to be associated with head and neck cancer.

"These new genes should advance selection of head and neck-specific gene targets, opening the door to promising new molecular strategies for the early detection and treatment of head and neck cancer. It also may offer the opportunity to help monitor disease progression and a patient's response to treatment," said study lead author Dr. Maria J. Worsham.

The National Cancer Institute has stated that 85 percent of head and neck cancers are linked to tobacco use.

People who use both tobacco and alcohol are at greater risk for developing these cancers than those who use either tobacco or alcohol alone.

Treatment for head and neck cancer varies based on the location and stage of the tumour, but most often includes surgery, radiation therapy or chemotherapy.

To identify new genes that could ultimately aid in future diagnosis and treatment of head and neck cancer, the researchers used a whole-genome methylation methylation,
n a phase-II detoxification pathway in the liver; methyl groups combine with toxins to rid the body of various substances.

 approach to detect genes with altered promoter gene regions due to DNA methylation DNA methylation ¬†

The modification of a strand of DNA after it is replicated, in which a methyl (CH3) group is added to any cytosine molecule that stands directly before a guanine molecule in the same chain.

DNA methylation - a type of chemical modification In biochemistry, chemical modification is the technique of chemically reacting a protein or nucleic acid with chemical reagents. Chemical modification can have several goals, such as
  • to identify which parts of the molecule are exposed to solvent ("foot printing");
 of DNA DNA: see nucleic acid.
 or deoxyribonucleic acid

One of two types of nucleic acid (the other is RNA); a complex organic compound found in all living cells and many viruses. It is the chemical substance of genes.
 where a methyl group Noun 1. methyl group - the univalent radical CH3- derived from methane
methyl, methyl radical

alkyl, alkyl group, alkyl radical - any of a series of univalent groups of the general formula CnH2n+1 derived from aliphatic hydrocarbons
 (CH3) can be added (hypermethylation) or removed (hypomethylation) - allows the researchers to look for genetic abnormalities within tumour samples.

Using five DNA samples from tumor tissue, the researchers looked for 1,043 possible cancer genes.

Those genes were cross-examined with those already reported in PubMeth, a cancer methylation database.

Of the 441 genes in the database, only 33 genes were referenced in connection with head and neck cancer.

Overall, the whole-genome methylation approach revealed 231 potential new genes not previously reported in head and neck cancer.

Of those, 50 percent were present in three or more of the DNA samples, and 20 percent were represented in all five samples.

"DNA methylation is emerging as one of the most promising molecular strategies for early detection of cancer, independent of its role in tumour development," said Worsham.

The results from the study were presented at the American Academy The American Academy in Berlin is a non-partisan academic institution in Berlin. It was founded in September 1994 by a group of prominent Americans and Germans, among them Richard Holbrooke, Henry Kissinger, Richard von Weizs√§cker, Fritz Stern and Otto Graf Lambsdorff and opened in  of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Foundation Annual Meeting and OTO EXPO in San Diego. (ANI)

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Publication:Asian News International
Date:Oct 12, 2009
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