Platypus link to ovarian cancer

June 26, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- Researchers from the Royal Adelaide Hospital and University of Adelaide believe our oldest mammalian relative may help us to better understand ovarian cancer.

University of Adelaide geneticist, Dr Frank Grützner says DNA mapping of the platypus has uncovered an interesting relationship between their and DNA sequences found in human ovarian cancer.

"We've identified DNA on the sex chromosomes of the platypus that is similar to the DNA that is affected in ovarian cancer and other diseases of reproduction like male infertility," Dr Grützner says.

"Cancers often show a large number of DNA changes and it is difficult to decide which ones are important for the development of the disease. The comparison with distantly related species like platypus helps us in identifying important DNA sequences that have been conserved by evolution over millions of years.

"We are excited by the fact that the analysis of the platypus genome gives us new directions in investigating the molecular basis of ovarian cancer."

Working in partnership with Dr Grützner is Associate Professor Martin Oehler, an ovarian cancer specialist from the Royal Adelaide Hospital, who says it's about finding new ways to tackle the disease.

"We hope this sort of research might one day lead to the development of an early detection test and more effective therapies against ovarian cancer," Dr Oehler says.

"Ovarian cancer is the most lethal gynaecological cancer and ranks as the 6th most common cause of cancer death in Australian women."

Both Dr Oehler and Dr Grützner say the applications of this research are not limited to , as they try to gain a better understanding of a number of diseases.

Provided by University of Adelaide (news : web)

Explore further: Regular paracetamol use could reduce ovarian cancer risk by almost a third

Related Stories

Uni leads study on echidna sex life

August 22, 2007

A University of Adelaide-led project will study the genetic makeup of one of Australia's most iconic animals, the echidna, to give an unprecedented insight into their sex life and behaviour.

Ovarian cancer's specific scent detected by dogs

June 26, 2008

Ground-breaking research in the June issue of Integrative Cancer Therapies published by SAGE explored whether ovarian cancer has a scent different from other cancers and whether working dogs could be taught to distinguish ...

Vascular marker of ovarian cancer identified

September 23, 2008

Researchers have identified TEM1 as a specific genetic marker for the vascular cells associated with tumor growth, a finding that could aid in diagnosis and treatment of ovarian cancer.

Study links obesity to elevated risk of ovarian cancer

January 5, 2009

A new epidemiological study has found that among women who have never used menopausal hormone therapy, obese women are at an increased risk of developing ovarian cancer compared with women of normal weight. Published in the ...

Recommended for you

Machine Translates Thoughts into Speech in Real Time

December 21, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- By implanting an electrode into the brain of a person with locked-in syndrome, scientists have demonstrated how to wirelessly transmit neural signals to a speech synthesizer. The "thought-to-speech" process ...

Quantum Theory May Explain Wishful Thinking

April 14, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- Humans don’t always make the most rational decisions. As studies have shown, even when logic and reasoning point in one direction, sometimes we chose the opposite route, motivated by personal bias or simply ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.