Scientists find gene markers for cancer risk - CBS46 News

Scientists find gene markers for cancer risk

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Scientists say DNA testing has uncovered dozens of genetic markers tied to breast, prostate and ovarian cancer. Scientists found 49 new markers for breast cancer, 23 genetic variations for prostate cancer and 11 for ovarian cancer.

The international effort detailed Wednesday involved more than 100 institutions and testing of 200,000 people. The new set of genetic risk markers essentially doubles the known list. One of the study's authors says the findings also reveal clues about the biological underpinnings of such cancers, which could pay off eventually in better therapies.

While patients shouldn't expect a quick payoff, researchers say the findings suggest there may someday be genetic tests to help identify patients with the most to gain from getting mammograms and PSA tests.

The head of the British charity that funded much of the research says the findings add another "piece to the puzzle." Doctors say the real test is whether you can find treatments from identifying these markers. Scientists hope their findings will lead to new diagnostic tests within the next five to 10 years. 

Experts not connected with the work say it's encouraging but add that more research is needed to see how useful it will be for guiding patient care.

Copyright 2013 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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