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Health Agencies Update
November 26, 2003

Parental Influence on Cancer

JAMA. 2003;290(20):2655. doi:10.1001/jama.290.20.2655-a

Changes in the expression of imprinted genes—genes differentially expressed depending on whether they are inherited from the mother or father—have been linked to a variety of human malignancies. Scientists from the National Cancer Institute, studying the phenomenon in mice, have identified some of the dramatic differences between the effects of maternal and paternal genomes in work that provides insight on how factors other than genetic mutations can cause cancer (published October 27 in the online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America; http://www.pnas.org).