London: Women who carry a faulty copy of a gene called RAD51D have an almost one in 11 chance of developing ovarian cancer, scientists said in a finding they called the most significant ovarian cancer gene discovery for more than 10 years.Tests to identify those at highest risk are expected to be available within a few years, according to Cancer Research UK, and may lead some women to decide to have their ovaries removed in order to beat the disease.The finding should also speed the search for new drugs.Laboratory experiments already suggest that cells with faulty RAD51D are sensitive to PARP inhibitors - a new class of drugs designed to target cancers caused by faults in two known breast and ovarian cancer genes, BRCA1 and BRCA2.Several large drugmakers, including Abbott , Merck, Pfizer , Sanofi-Aventis and AstraZeneca , are developing PARP inhibitors, which work by blocking DNA repair mechanisms in cancer cells, stalling the cell cycle and leading to cell death.
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