Faulty genes, not just treatment side effects, to blame for double whammy
WASHINGTON — A second cancer later in life is common for childhood cancer survivors, and scientists now have a sense of the role genes play when this happens. A project that mined the genetic data of a group of survivors finds that 11.5 percent carry mutations that increase the risk of a subsequent cancer.
“We’ve always known that among survivors, a certain population will experience adverse outcomes directly related to therapy,” says epidemiologist and team member Leslie Robison of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis. The project sought “to find out what contribution genetics may play.” The team presented their work at the American Association of Cancer Research meeting April 3.
“This is a nice first step,” says David Malkin, a pediatric oncologist at the University of Toronto. “The results validate the thoughts of those of us who believe there is a genetic risk that