University of Iowa researchers say some pieces of the genetic puzzle of ovarian cancer are coming together. Dr. Richard Buller is a U-of-I professor of obstetrics and gynecology and he’s principal investigator of a study that focuses on two particular genes called B-R-C-A-one and two.It’s been thought the genes only play a role in perhaps five to ten percent of ovarian cancers. Dr. Buller says his findings show the genes are actually involved in about three-quarters of the cancer cases. He says this could change how ovarian cancer is treated.The U-of-I study involved 92 women who had ovarian or similar cancers. He says 75 of them had defects in at least one of the two targeted genes. While ovarian cancer isn’t common, Dr. Buller says it isn’t rare either, as it hits about one to two percent of women.When caught early, he says about 90-percent of ovarian cancers can be cured, while later, there’s only about a 20-percent survival rate over five years. The study results appear in the September 18 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.
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