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5 December 2013 11:26 am ,
Vol. 342 ,
An animal rights group known as the Nonhuman Rights Project filed lawsuits in three New York courts this week in an...
Researchers have been hot on the trail of the elusive Denisovans, a type of ancient human known only by their DNA and...
Thousands of scientists in the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) are about to lose their jobs as a result of the...
Dyslexia, a learning disability that hinders reading, hasn't been associated with deficits in vision, hearing, or...
Exotic, elusive, and dangerous, snakes have fascinated humankind for millennia. They can be hard to find, yet their...
Researchers have sequenced and analyzed the first two snake genomes, which represent two evolutionary extremes. The...
Snake venoms are remarkably complex mixtures that can stun or kill prey within minutes. But more and more researchers...
At age 30, Dutch biologist Freek Vonk has built up a respectable career as a snake scientist. But in his home country,...
- 5 December 2013 11:26 am , Vol. 342 , #6163
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Surviving Cancer Longer: It's in the Genes
6 November 1996 8:00 pm
An inherited form of ovarian cancer may be less deadly than other versions of the disease, according to a study in today's issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. A group of 53 women who inherited mutations in the BRCA1 gene, which causes only a small fraction of ovarian cancers, had a median survival--the point at which half the group had died--of 77 months after diagnosis compared with 29 months for women of similar age and tumor type who had no family history of cancer and no sign of the mutation.
Scientists do not fully understand how the BRCA1 gene works, and the authors of the study, 12 researchers from five medical institutions, do not speculate on the mechanisms behind the better survival rates. But the finding may spark new research leading to better treatments for women with the mutation-induced cancers, says co-author Henry Lynch, a medical oncologist at the Creighton University School of Medicine in Omaha, Nebraska.
Lynch calls the results ``striking, but not surprising.'' He says he and other researchers have found similar high survival rates for hereditary breast cancer and colon cancer. Joseph Marcus, a pathologist at St. Luke's Hospital in St. Louis, also says the study fits in with previous research. Paradoxically, he and his colleagues have found that breast cancer cells with the BRCA1 mutation divide more quickly than other tumor cells do, normally a sign of a more deadly cancer.