Treatment hope over faulty gene link to ovarian cancer

SCIENTISTS have discovered how a genetic fault is linked to the development of aggressive ovarian cancer.

The researchers were investigating how a gene known as TP53 affects survival rates and responses to treatment.

They then found genetic faults with TP53 present in aggressive forms of the disease. The discovery could lead to new treatments for the cancer, which kills around 4,300 women in the UK each year.

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The study, published in the Journal of Pathology, was led by Cancer Research UK's Cambridge Research Institute.

Researchers analysed samples of tumours containing the TP53 gene taken from 145 women with aggressive ovarian cancer. The women were part of the Australian Ovarian Cancer Study, one of the largest pieces of research on the disease in the world. Most of the women had a fault in the TP53 gene, leading the experts to conclude such mutations play a crucial role in the disease's development.

Lead author Dr James Brenton said: "We want to look at how we can target this fault with new treatments for aggressive ovarian cancers."

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