Printer Friendly

Cancer gene gap mapped.

Cancer gene gap mapped

As chromosome mapping techniques improve, more and more diseases are being linked to specific genetic defects. Last week, small-cell lung cancer--a particularly deadly form of lung cancer --became the latest disease to have its genetic origins identified. And although scientists still don't know what causes the genetic defect that leads to the disease, the researchers who discovered the link say cigarette smoking is a candidate.

The research, which points to a missing pair of genes on chromosome 3 as the cause of the cancer, was performed by scientists at the National Cancer Institute and the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Md., and the University of Texas Health Sciences Center in San Antonio. Their findings are reported in the Oct. 1 NATURE.

As in a handful of other genetically linked cancers, the genes that are missing in small-cell lung cancer appear to be cancer-suppressing "anti-oncogenes.' When present, anti-oncogenes prevent the rampant replication characteristic of cancer cells (SN: 1/5/85, p.10). The mapping of such genes is the first step toward identifying the biological product for which they code, and may in turn lead to improved diagnosis and treatment of the diseases they normally prevent. Small-cell lung cancer accounts for about 20 percent of the 30,000 to 40,000 new cases of lung cancer that appear in the United States each year. Overall, lung cancer is the country's leading cause of cancer death.
COPYRIGHT 1987 Science Service, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1987, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:Science News
Date:Oct 10, 1987
Words:242
Previous Article:Jarring notice of California quake dangers.
Next Article:Sounding out chemical hot spots.
Topics:


Related Articles
Exposing lung cancer as a genetic disease.
Genetic roadblocks: the body may not always resist cancer, but it does have built-in barricades to slow the spread.
'Missing link' to cancer is found.
Genetic propensity to common cancers found.
Newly found gene linked to cancer biology.
Family ties reflect lung cancer risk.
Variations on a theme: interplay of genes and environment elevates cancer risk.
Newfound gene linked to several cancers.
Color array reveals breast cancer types.
Cancer switch: good gene is shut off in various malignancies.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2017 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters