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Researchers discovered a genetic variation (difference) that may predict stomach cancer that is more likely to grow and spread. This genetic variation is located on the CD44 gene and is inherited, meaning it is passed from generation to generation within a family. For patients with this genetic variation and stomach cancer, the cancer returned after treatment more than three times sooner than for patients without this genetic change.
What this means for patients
“Testing for the CD44 variation may help us identify patients who would benefit from more aggressive treatment and develop treatments that target this genetic variation,” said lead author Thomas Winder, MD, a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Southern California. Because this gene is inherited, it may be possible to use it to predict a person's risk of developing stomach cancer. However, more research is needed to fully understand how this gene affects a person's chance of developing stomach cancer.
What to ask your doctor
- What type of stomach cancer do I have?
- What is my prognosis (chance of recovery)?
- What is the chance that the cancer might come back after treatment?
- What are my treatment options if the cancer does return?
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