Scientists Discover A New Cancer-Causing Syndrome
Cancer continues to be among the major health burdens across the world. Genetic mutations are a foremost reason for cancer; they disturb the standard processes that direct the growth of cells, making cells to grow uncontrollably and develop tumors. It is extremely to crucial to recognize the cancer-causing gene mutations for finding out strategies to diagnose, treat, and prevent cancer.
According to 2 new studies, few genetic mutations considered to be linked with an atypical bone marrow disease may rather make individuals prone to early-onset cancer. The research suggested that the FANCM gene mutations are not—opposing to existing understanding—associated with Fanconi anemia—which is an inherited bone marrow disease. However, the research team reported that mutations in the FANCM gene are linked to early cancer development and toxicity to chemotherapy as well.
FANCM gene has been related to the Fanconi anemia development, after 2005 study recognized mutations in the FANCM gene—referred as biallelic mutations—in individuals with the disease. Earlier research has specified that these biallelic mutations also result in DNA errors that augment cancer susceptibility—predominantly, breast cancer. In the new studies, the research teams desired to achieve a better perceptive of the disease results caused by the mutations in FANCM.
The first study conducted by Massimo Bogliolo and team used genomic sequencing to investigate cells obtained from 3 patients who had the FANCM gene mutations. They discovered that the patients with mutations in the FANCM gene did not have any trait distinctive of Fanconi anemia, such as hematological abnormalities or congenital malformations.
The study, however, discovered that these patients exhibited a tendency for early-onset cancer, including head & neck cancer and leukemia. Apart from this, it also revealed that these patients experienced elevated toxicity in response to chemotherapy.
The other research led by Javier Benítez consisted of 5 females with biallelic mutations in FANCM gene. In line with the outcomes of the first research, Benítez and team discovered that while the females didn’t develop Fanconi anemia but showed a high predilection to breast cancer as well as toxicity to chemotherapy.
Altogether, the research team states that the 2 studies show the biallelic mutations in FANCM gene results in a sort of cancer predisposition syndrome, instead of Fanconi anemia. The researchers, on the basis of their findings, propose close scrutinizing of patients with mutations in FANCM gene, provided their high cancer susceptibility. In addition, they warn that proper care should be given to such patients while treating chemotherapy as it can have toxic effects.