Genome Scans Find Clues to Childhood Cancer
In the first genome-wide association study of a rare cancer, researchers have identified common genetic variants that may increase the risk of neuroblastoma, a childhood cancer of the nervous system.
Risk factors for the more aggressive forms of neuroblastoma may reside on a region of chromosome 6, according to a report published online last week in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM). The region was not previously linked to the disease.
Little has been known about susceptibility to neuroblastoma. The disease often begins in early childhood (or before birth) and initially affects the nerve tissue of the adrenal glands. Many researchers have thought that mutations in several major genes would largely determine the inherited component of the disease. Read more
Mammography Plus Breast Ultrasound Yields Mixed Results
First-year screening data from a study comparing ultrasound with or in addition to mammography in women who have increased breast cancer risk indicate that combining the two tests has benefits and drawbacks.
Adding a screening ultrasound to routine mammography revealed 28 percent more cancers than mammography alone. However, the addition of ultrasound to mammography also resulted in a fourfold increase in false-positive findings - that is, screening results leading to a biopsy that revealed no cancer. Read more