Marquitta White Scott Williams

Many studies have talked about the importance of fibers in resisting colorectal cancer. In this report, scientists from the Vanderbilt University have put forth a gene called adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) that may play a role in the development of colon cancer.

The aforesaid gene is apparently linked to inherited forms of colorectal cancer. In the analysis, the team scrutinized APC allele-specific expression between people diagnosed with the cancer and the control participants.

Scott Williams, professor of molecular physiology and biophysics, and graduate student Marquitta White, both in the Center for Human Genetics Research at Vanderbilt University, specified, “One of the things I like to say is: before you analyze the data, look at the data, and after you analyze the data, look at the data. In general, scientists test for a difference between two groups by asking, ‘Is the mean (average) different? That’s what everybody does.”

The results showed that APC allele-specific expression was seemingly prevalent in familial cases of colon cancer towards the extremities. But, sporadic cases seemed to lie anywhere between extreme and standard. In case of a patient differing from the median value, the team found that the person possessed a mutation that was inherited. A re-examination affirmed the presence of multiple polyps in the patient.

The scientists revealed that allele-specific expression of APC may be regarded as a marker for colon cancer risk. Further studies to investigate the genetic associations that lead to alterations in allele-specific expression of APC, are underway.

The article is published in the January issue of the journal, Gastroenterology.