The study focused on colorectal (bowel) cancers and examined the presence of mutations in a gene that is essential for the accurate copying of DNA when cells divide, known as DNA polymerase epsilon (POLE). As a consequence of the defects in copying their DNA, these tumours accumulate a much higher number of additional mutations than other bowel cancers – a characteristic that may explain an apparently enhanced immune response against them.
Rare mutations in bowel cancer may identify patients with a better prognosis
20 July 2016
An international collaboration between the University of Oxford and other European institutions has uncovered a correlation between a rare mutation in bowel cancers and a better prognosis, raising the possibility that patients with such tumours may not require chemotherapy after surgery.