[S]cientists have long known that people with [Down] condition rarely get most types of cancer. Now, a Harvard study has identified one of the factors that protects people with Down Syndrome against tumors. The discovery could lead to new methods of protecting all patients against cancer.Down Syndrome subjects have a third chromosome 21. Genes on this extra chromosome code for a substance that suppresses "vascular endothelial growth factor," thus inhibiting the creation of new blood vessels needed to support tumor growth. Studies will now be undertaken to see if this factor can be independently manipulated in patients without Down Syndrome.
22 May 2009
People with Down Syndrome rarely get cancer