Research discovers gene linked to colon cancer

By WEEK Producer
By NBC News

Research discovers gene linked to colon cancer

November 2, 2012 Updated Nov 2, 2012 at 1:39 PM CDT

STOCKHOLM, Sweden -- A Swedish research team published a study in the latest issue of "Science" saying they have isolated a gene that can help to prevent bowel cancer in mice.

The team from the Karolinska Institute says when they remove the gene, the mice have a reduction of bowel cancer.

The scientists said the specific gene's only known function is to regulate other genes. Scientists describe it as a kind of relay switch.

Doctors at the Karolinska Institute along with colleagues at the University of Helsinki say that the gene region "Myc335" can turn on or off "MYC", which is a powerful cancer-associated gene.

The research team leader Jussi Taipale says the team's findings could lead to preventative measures, but research remains at a basic level.

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