Using publicly available data, researchers have identified 10 new genes that are predisposed to ovarian and breast cancer among others, an advance that would contribute to improving cancer diagnoses and prevention in the future.
There are many genetic causes of cancer. While some mutations are inherited from parents, others are acquired all throughout life due to external factors or due to mistakes in copying DNA.
In the study, published in Nature Communications, a team of researchers developed a new statistical method named ALFRED and identified 13 candidate cancer predisposition genes, of which 10 are new from tumour sequencing data.
"We applied our method to the genome sequences of more than 10,000 cancer patients with 30 different tumour types and identified known and new possible cancer predisposition genes that have the potential to contribute substantially to cancer risk," said principal investigator Ben Lehner, ICREA -- Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies in Spain.