Faulty gene plays part in ovarian cancer risk

The chance of contracting ovarian cancer is enhanced greatly, scientists have discovered, by a gene that is faulty. The gene, RAD51D, can increase the risk of ovarian cancer six times, making the odds one in eleven for a woman developing the disease. It was described by Cancer Research UK as a landmark discovery, stating that their findings will help with an early diagnostic exam which may be available in the next two years.

Those women that have the faulty gene should be able to benefit from a new type of preventive cancer drug said the London Institute of Cancer Research. The drugs are known as PARP inhibitors and are amidst clinical trials. They target the BRCA 1&2 breast and ovarian cancer genes.

There are other existing genes that are known to contribute to the cancer but not to the extent that the gene RAD51D does. The author of the study, Professor Nazneen Rahman, said they were excited about the discovery and with this we enter into a new gene sequencing era and a great deal more destructive genes will be found like these in future studies.