DNA flaw boosts cancer risk from diabetes—study



In this Friday, March 2, 2012, file photo, DNA samples are processed at the New York State Police Forensic Investigation Center in Albany, New York. A DNA flaw may explain why people with Type 2 diabetes are more prone to blood cancers than the rest of the population, a study said Sunday, July 14, 2013. AP PHOTO/MIKE GROLL

PARIS—A DNA flaw may explain why people with Type 2 diabetes are more prone to blood cancers than the rest of the population, a study said Sunday.

Doctors have long known that Type 2 diabetes is associated with leukemia and lymphoma, but the reasons for this have been unclear.

Researchers in France and Britain, looking at blood samples from nearly 7,500 people, including 2,200 patients with Type 2 diabetes, suggest the answer lies in cellular mutations called clonal mosaic events (CMEs).

These are defects that result in some cells having extra copies—or, alternatively, missing copies—of large stretches of genetic code.

Reporting in the journal Nature Genetics, the researchers said that in the general population, CMEs are usually very rare in young people but become more common with aging.

Among people aged over 70, around two percent have these mutations, which gives them a tenfold higher risk of developing blood cancer, previous research has found.