An Asturian researcher participates in a key study to prevent cancer

One of the main authors of a study that offers keys for the prevention and early detection of cancers is the Asturian Pedro Moral Quirós, a former researcher at the Sanger Institute and the University of Cambridge. Moral Quirós (Pola de Siero, 1983) is a researcher at the Health Research Institute of the Principality of Asturias (ISPA) and leads the group “Mitochondria, aging and human disease”.

“This study could lay the groundwork for the development of new strategies to prevent cancer, especially blood tumors such as acute myeloid leukemia,” Moral Quirós told LA NUEVA ESPAÑA yesterday from Cambridge.

The journal “Nature Genetics” published the discovery of 14 inherited genetic changes that increase a person’s risk of developing an asymptomatic blood disorder associated with the onset of cancers and heart disease. The discovery comes after one of the largest studies of its kind, in which the genetic data of 421,738 people were analyzed.

Led by scientists from the Universities of Bristol and Cambridge, the Sanger Institute, ISPA and AstraZeneca, the study shows that certain inherited genetic changes affect the likelihood of developing “clonal hematopoiesis”, a common disorder characterized by the appearance of expanding blood cell clones that multiply abnormally through mutations in their DNA. It has no symptoms but the disorder becomes common over time and is a risk factor for developing blood tumors and other age-related diseases. Its appearance comes from genetic changes in blood-producing cells.

somatic mutations

As FINBA-ISPA reports, “Throughout life, all human cells acquire genetic changes in their DNA, called somatic mutations. A specific subset of this type of mutation promotes cell multiplication. This is especially common in hematopoietic cells. stem cells, and results in the growth of populations of cells carrying identical mutations called “clones”.

Using data from the UK Biobank, the team “was able to show how these genetic changes are linked not only to blood cancers, but also to tumors that develop in other parts of the body, such as lung cancers, prostate and ovary”.

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