A new gene has been found linking obesity to an decreased risk of developing colon cancer, a fact that may make it easier to screen patients for the presence of the disease.
ADIPOQ is the name of a gene, and when a person is found to have a variant of that gene they develop a fat hormone known as adiponectin.
People with this gene were found to be at a 30% reduced risk of developing colon cancer say researchers, but those without the gene who had higher levels of the fat hormone adiponectin were at greater risk of developing the disease.
“Our hope is that we can significantly improve the screening and early detection for this disease, and open new avenues for better understanding the genetic and lifestyle factors that influence colon cancer risk,” said Boris Pasche, professor at the University of Alabama Comprehensive Cancer Center.
It is estimated that in the US this year up to 149 cases of colon cancer will be reported, resulting in 50000 deaths.
The study is published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.