Research by Cambridge scientists could lead to routine tests for patients genetic risk of cancer within five years.
The study compared the DNA of more than 100,000 cancer patients with a similarly sized sample from the general population.
They used microchip technology capable of identifying more than 200,000 genetic variants, some of which were suspected of being linked to cancer.
More than 1,000 scientists from 130 institutions in Europe and the US took part in the Collaborative Oncological Gene-environment Study (Cogs).
We're on the verge of being able to use our knowledge of these genetic variations to develop tests that could complement breast cancer screening and take us a step closer to having an effective prostate cancer screening programme
Dr Harpal Kumar, chief executive of Cancer Research UK, which co-funded the research, said:
This groundbreaking international work highlights how complex cancer is.
Hundreds, if not thousands of genes are likely to play a role in how cancers start.
But by understanding why some people seem to be at greater risk of developing cancer we can look towards an era where we can identify them and take steps to reduce their chances of getting cancer or pick up the disease at its earliest stages."
PC Chris Poulter who is investigating the theft said: ‘The theft of the ring has caused a great deal of upset for Wendy’s family at a time when they are already trying to cope with her sad passing.
"Pilgrim’s Hospice has been fully co-operative and our investigation continues.
"We have already visited some second hand shops and will continue to make enquiries.
"If anyone knows where the ring is, or has any information about the theft, I would urge them to contact me on 101 quoting crime report ZY/4459/13 or email [firstname.lastname@example.org.
The ring is described as a gold band with a large square diamond and had been given to Wendy Dolton by her late husband ten years ago, and has significant sentimental value to the family.
Wendy, who had just turned 65 and lived near Dover, had cancer and spent her last few days at Pilgrim’s Hospice.
She sadly passed away in the late afternoon on Thursday February 14.
The ring was stolen at some time between 6 pm on Wednesday 13 and 6 pm on Thursday 14 February.
Police are hunting a thief who stole a ring from the finger of a dying cancer patient.
Wendy Dolton was staying at Pilgrims Hospice in London Road, Canterbury, when the incident happened.
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