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Researchers: Specific gene could predict colon cancer outcomes


Those studying and treating colon cancer will have a new way of looking at the disease thanks to research results from a study led by Dr. Timothy J. Yeatman, President and Director of Gibbs Cancer Center & Research Institute at Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System. The study, published in medical scientific journal “Nature Communications” in June, entitled “A multigene mutation classification of 468 colorectal cancers reveals a prognostic role for APC,” focuses on the Adenomatous Polyposis Coli (APC), a gene that has long been considered the gatekeeper in the development of colon cancer. Yeatman, lead investigator at the Gibbs Cancer Center & Research Institute, along with Dr. Michael J. Schell of Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Fla., performed extensive analysis of DNA sequencing from a large, human colon cancer database to identify a new, clinically-relevant role for APC, that is mutated in more than 70 percent of colon cancer cases. “The fact that APC mutation is so common would suggest that it wouldn’t have any other role than simply to initiate colon cancer,” Yeatman said. “But we found this not to be the case.” Starting with analyzing 1,321 cancer genes, the study results found that gene sequencing of APC and other associated genes reveals a prognostic effect that could help physicians better predict long term outcomes.

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