The marriage of genealogy and genetics may be saving lives in two families – one in Utah and the other in New York – descended from the same colonial ancestor. And future research may help many more. Many living members of the affected families are separated by as many as 14 generations from English colonist George Fry and had no idea that they were at such a significant increased risk of cancer.
Last year, scientists at the Huntsman Cancer Institute announced they had discovered that the families carried the same genetic mutation, responsible for a 1,600 percent increased risk of colon cancer. They said that they hoped that, with education and screening, those who have the mutation could stop the cancer before it starts.
On Tuesday, study leader Deborah Neklason said that's just what has happened.
You can read more in an article by Matthew D. LaPlante in the Salt Lake Tribune at: http://www.sltrib.com/news/ci_11993770.