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Down’s syndrome and cancer

Posted Jun 12 2009 6:43pm

I meant to write about this the other day but I didn’t have time. Now it has been reported everywhere it is easier just to link to the reports: Nature has published a report explaining why people with Down’s syndrome are less susceptible to cancer.

“A gene on the extra chromosome that causes Down’s syndrome helps to protect those with the disorder from some types of cancer.

Sandra Ryeom, a vascular biologist at Children’s Hospital Boston in Massachusetts, and her colleagues experimented with mice and with human cells to show that an additional third copy of the DSCR1 gene (also known as RCAN1) can suppress the growth of the blood vessels that feed cancerous tumours.”

I previously reported on how a better understanding of Down’s syndrome may aid breast cancer therapy.

More on this from the BBC, MIT Technology Review, and Forbes.

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