Unsuspected gene found frequently mutated in colorectal, endometrial cancers

October 26, 2014

 

Charles Fuchs, MD, MPH

Charles Fuchs, MD, MPH

Scientists have identified a genetic mutation in about 20 percent of colorectal and endometrial cancers that had been previously overlooked in large, comprehensive gene searches. With this discovery, this mutation now ranks as one of the most common in these two forms of cancer.

Reporting in Nature Genetics, investigators from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard said the mutated gene helps control an important cell-signaling pathway that has been implicated in many forms of cancer.

"Tumors that have this mutation may be telling us that ... they will be uniquely sensitive to drugs that inhibit this pathway," said Charles Fuchs, MD, MPH, an author of the paper and director of the Center for Gastrointestinal Cancer at Dana-Farber

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