Ovarian Cancer Coverage from Every Angle

Do Some Women Inherit Ovarian Cancer From Their Fathers?

By: Melissa S. Eng, MS
Posted: Friday, May 4, 2018

Ovarian cancer in some women may be inherited from their fathers, according to a study by Kevin H. Eng, MD, and colleagues at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, New York. These ovarian cancers, thought to be linked to a specific gene variant, MAGEC3, may be detected earlier than usual, indicating these patients may be treated sooner. This research was published in PLOS Genetics.

“Because a dad’s chromosomes determine the sex of his children, all of his daughters have to carry the same X-chromosome genes,” explained Dr. Eng in a news report in The Telegraph. “What we have to do next is make sure we have the right gene by sequencing more families.”

In the large-scale Familial Ovarian Cancer Registry at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute, exomes of 3,499 grandmother/granddaughter pairs were analyzed to test the hypothesis that an X-linked variant of ovarian cancer exists. Germline X chromosome exome sequencing was performed for 186 women with ovarian cancer.

Consistent with this hypothesis, the authors found the rate of cancers to be higher in paternal grandmother/granddaughter pairs than in maternal pairs (28.4% vs. 13.9%). In addition, ovarian cancer linked to genes inherited from the paternal grandmother were associated with an earlier age of onset than ovarian cancer linked to maternal genes. Moreover, an association between prostate cancer in men and ovarian cancer in their mother and daughters was also identified. Additional research is needed to validate the involvement of MAGEC3, perhaps by exploring potential ovarian cancer associations of non-coding DNA regions in a more diverse population.

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