Bowel Cancer Discovery by Scientists in Wales

When healthy parents both carry a defective gene called MYH, their children are at very high risk of coming down with bowel cancer, researchers at the University of Wales College of Medicine say in an article in the eminent ‘ The Lancet’ journal for the medical profession.

“Until this discovery was made it was believed that inherited forms of bowel cancer were transmitted from one affected parent to their children and then to their grandchildren,” said Julian Sampson, Professor of Genetics at UWCM and lead author of the article.

“In contrast, the defective MYH gene that we have discovered causes cancer through recessive inheritance. Parents are healthy carriers of the gene but if both pass the defective gene to a child, he or she will be at very high risk of bowel cancer. This is the same way in which Cystic Fibrosis is passed from healthy parents to their offspring.”

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