New ovarian cancer gene discovered
September 2011

LONDON—Scientists have found that the presence of the newly discovered RAD51D gene gives women who carry it an almost one in 11 chance of developing ovarian cancer. Researchers from Britain's Institute of Cancer Research compared the DNA of women from 911 families with ovarian and breast cancer with the DNA from a control group, and found eight faults in the RAD51D gene in women with cancer, and only one in the control group. According to Cancer Research UK, tests to identify those at highest risk could be available within a few years, and this finding could also speed the search for new drugs. Experiments have already shown that cells with faulty RAD51D display sensitivity to PARP inhibitors, the class of drugs designed to target cancers caused by mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2.

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