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Rare Genetic Disease Offers Insight Into Common Cancers, University of Colorado Cancer Center Study


9/5/2012 7:29:11 AM

Fanconi anemia is a recessive genetic disorder affecting 1 in 350,000 babies, which leaves cells unable to repair damaged DNA. This lack of repair puts Fanconi anemia patients at high risk for developing a variety of cancers, especially leukemias and head and neck cancer. Cruelly, the condition also nixes the use of an entire class of cancer drugs, namely drugs like mitomycin C, by encouraging DNA to crosslink together like sticky strands of bread dough -- generally, healthy cells can repair a few crosslinks whereas cancer cells cannot and so are killed.

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