Cancer Essay

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New ovarian cancer gene found in mice Editor's Choice Academic Journal Main Category: Ovarian Cancer Also Included In: Cancer / Oncology Article Date: 05 Sep 2013 - 3:00 PDT Cancer Research UK scientists have discovered a gene that repairs damaged DNA is also linked to ovarian cancer in mice. They say if the gene - known as Helq - is faulty or missing, DNA errors accumulate as cells multiply, and this raises the chance of developing the cancer. They write about their findings in the September 4th online issue of Nature. According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), ovarian cancer accounts for about 3% of cancers among women, but it is responsible for more deaths than any other cancer of the female reproductive system. The ACS estimates that in 2013, around 22,240 women in the US will discover they have ovarian cancer, and 14,030 will die of the disease. In the UK, every year around 7,000 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer, and about 4,300 die from it, according to figures from Cancer Research UK. The main reason for the high numbers of deaths relative to new cases is because ovarian cancer is hard to diagnose early and treat successfully. Dr. Julie Sharp, the senior science information manager at Cancer Research UK says: "This study pulls together clues from a series of experiments building a picture of cell faults that could lead to ovarian cancer in women." She adds that the more we know about the causes, the better equipped we are to detect the disease early and the better the chance of successful treatment. Previous studies on flies and nematodes had already established that Helq is involved in DNA repair, but little was known about its role in mammals. So the team from Cancer Research UK's London Research Institute decided to investigate Helq in mice. They studied mice that had only one copy of the gene missing and also some where both

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