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Understanding how some people inherit a higher risk of developing kidney cancer

  • Researcher: Professor Eamonn Maher
  • Institution: University of Cambridge
  • Award Amount: £156,226 for 3 years from June 2011
  • Cancer Type: Kidney Cancer
Understanding how some people inherit a higher risk of developing kidney cancer

Kidney cancer can run in some families and some people may inherit a gene causing a higher risk of developing kidney cancer from their parents. In some cases the altered gene (e.g. the VHL gene) can be detected and by testing the family doctors can determine who will benefit from cancer screening. However, in most families it is not clear how the risk is passed on and this is the focus of Professor Maher's Worldwide Cancer Research grant. By studying patients with inherited kidney cancer Professor Maher hopes to identify new genes that are responsible and to find out if these are also involved in non-inherited kidney cancers. His findings could be important for identifying those who may be at risk of developing inherited kidney cancer. These people and their close relatives could then be monitored and any cancer caught early when treatment has a much better chance of being successful.

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