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Major study uncovers new breast cancer genes and opens the door for more discoveries

An international study led by Queensland researchers has identified a dozen new genes that influence a person’s risk of developing breast cancer.

Professor Chenevix-Trench explains that after 170 DNA markers were identified as being linked to breast cancer previously, this study, called a transcriptome-wide association study, analysed 8500 genes in breast tissue to see if they were linked to cancer risk and whether they were “turned up high like a very bright light, or turned down low like a dim light.”

 Through their study they discovered that when 12 genes were ‘turned down,’ breast cancer cells failed to grow as well.

 The next step will be to better understand these genes and to decipher how they could affect breast cancer risk. This information could be used to help develop drugs to treat and prevent the disease.

 You can read more about the discovery on the QIMR Berghofer website: HERE.