New genes associated with breast cancer risk

June 26, 2018 by Laura Otto And Kathy Quirk, University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee
Micrograph showing a lymph node invaded by ductal breast carcinoma, with extension of the tumour beyond the lymph node. Credit: Nephron/Wikipedia

Only a small percentage of breast cancer cases can be linked to heredity, and many of the genes with ties to the disease are unknown.

But findings from a new study point to probable new genes for susceptibility.

An international team of researchers, including Paul Auer at UW-Milwaukee, has recently identified 48 genes associated with a woman's predisposition to – 34 that were implicated in previous research and 14 new genes.

Led by Lang Wu at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and Wei Shi at the QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute in Australia, the work included nearly 200 researchers. It was published online in the journal Nature Genetics on June 18.

Using data science models that predict gene expression in breast tissue and data from the Cancer Genome Atlas, the researchers looked at 229,000 subjects of European ancestry, some with cancer and some without.

Researchers further investigated the genetic pathways involved to uncover biological processes that may go awry during breast cancer development. In laboratory experiments, they found that when some of the genes were "silenced," failed to grow.

This big data statistical detective work is becoming an increasingly important part of health care as researchers comb through genetic information and large-scale, long-term compilations of medical records to establish links between genes and disease, said Auer, an associate professor of biostatistics at UWM's Zilber School of Public Health.

"This paper demonstrates how a new statistical technique can be used to identify genes related to the genetic predisposition to breast cancer," he said. "The results from this study contribute to a deeper understanding of the genetics and biology of breast cancer and could lead to improved preventive and therapeutic strategies."

Auer's data science expertise is often conducted in collaboration with larger teams of researchersto analyze millions of to try to isolate variations that are linked to disease. Besides breast cancer, he has applied mathematical tools to sort the ocean of human genomic information for links to heart disease, obesity and .

Explore further: New breast cancer targets

More information: undefined undefined et al. A transcriptome-wide association study of 229,000 women identifies new candidate susceptibility genes for breast cancer, Nature Genetics (2018). DOI: 10.1038/s41588-018-0132-x

Related Stories

New breast cancer targets

May 4, 2018
Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified more than 150 genetic variations associated with increased risk for breast cancer. Most of these variants are not located in protein-coding gene regions but are assumed ...

Scientists find treasure trove of 110 genes linked to breast cancer

March 12, 2018
Scientists have linked 110 genes to an increased risk of breast cancer in the most comprehensive study ever to unpick the genetics of the disease.

Familial breast cancer not only inherited genetically, finds new study

February 28, 2018
Mutations in known breast cancer genes such as BRCA1 and BRCA2 are identified in only approximately 20 per cent of women who are offered genetic testing for familial breast cancer.

Genetic predisposition to breast cancer due to non-brca mutations in ashkenazi Jewish women

July 20, 2017
Genetic mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2 increase the risk of breast and ovarian cancer in Ashkenazi Jewish women. A new article published by JAMA Oncology examines the likelihood of carrying another cancer-predisposing mutation ...

Research helps refine role of gene variants in breast cancer risk

December 7, 2016
Inherited pathogenic variants in protein coding genes BARD1 and RAD51D increase a woman's likelihood of developing breast cancer, according to research conducted at Mayo Clinic and presented today at the 2016 San Antonio ...

Study identifies genes linked to breast cancer in East Asian women

July 23, 2014
A new study in East Asian women has identified three genetic changes linked to an increased risk of breast cancer. The research, led by Vanderbilt University investigators, was published online July 20 in Nature Genetics.

Recommended for you

Daily low-dose aspirin may be weapon against ovarian cancer

July 20, 2018
(HealthDay)— One low-dose aspirin a day could help women avoid ovarian cancer or boost their survival should it develop, two new studies suggest.

Discovery of kidney cancer driver could lead to new treatment strategy

July 19, 2018
University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center scientists have uncovered a potential therapeutic target for kidney cancers that have a common genetic change. Scientists have known this genetic change ...

High fruit and vegetable consumption may reduce risk of breast cancer, especially aggressive tumors

July 19, 2018
Women who eat a high amount of fruits and vegetables each day may have a lower risk of breast cancer, especially of aggressive tumors, than those who eat fewer fruits and vegetables, according to a new study led by researchers ...

Sunscreen reduces melanoma risk by 40 per cent in young people

July 19, 2018
A world-first study led by University of Sydney has found that Australians aged 18-40 years who were regular users of sunscreen in childhood reduced their risk of developing melanoma by 40 percent, compared to those who rarely ...

Analysis of prostate tumors reveals clues to cancer's aggressiveness

July 19, 2018
Using genetic sequencing, scientists have revealed the complete DNA makeup of more than 100 aggressive prostate tumors, pinpointing important genetic errors these deadly tumors have in common. The study lays the foundation ...

Analytical tool predicts genes that can cause disease by producing altered proteins

July 19, 2018
Predicting genes that can cause disease due to the production of truncated or altered proteins that take on a new or different function, rather than those that lose their function, is now possible thanks to an international ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.