London: A new research has found a gene, called RHBDF2, which plays an important role in the development of oesophageal cancer.The researchers studied families who suffer a rare inherited condition making them highly susceptible to the disease and found that a fault in a single gene was responsible.Initial studies suggest that the gene could play a role in the more common, non-inherited form of the disease, revealing a new target for treating this aggressive type of cancer.Survival rates are poor in oesophageal cancer as compared to other types of cancer with only eight per cent of people alive five years after diagnosis. Scientists know little about how oesophageal cancer develops and very few drugs for targeting the disease are currently available.The new study was led by Professor David Kelsell from Queen Mary, University of London with collaborators from the University of Dundee and the University of Liverpool.The research concentrated on three families with a hereditary condition called tylosis with oesophageal cancer. This condition affects the skin and mouth and sufferers have a 95 per cent chance of developing oesophageal cancer by the age of 65.
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