A study looking at the genetics of womb cancer (NSECG)

Cancer type:

Womb (uterine or endometrial) cancer

Status:

Results

Phase:

Other

This study was trying to find changes to genes that may increase the risk of cancer of the lining of the womb (endometrial cancer).

Cancer of the womb lining is also called endometrial cancer. It is the most common type of womb cancer. Changes to particular genes may increase the risk of developing endometrial cancer.

In this study, the researchers looked at the genes of a large number of women who had endometrial cancer. They also found out about their family history to see if any close relatives had had cancer.

The aim of the study was to identify genetic changes that could increase the risk of getting endometrial cancer.

Summary of results

This large national study known as the National Study of Endometrial Cancer Genetics or NSECG recruited 3,300 women with endometrial cancer, as well as a large number of people who didn’t have endometrial cancer (the control group).  

Everybody who took part in the study part gave a blood sample. And the study team got tumour samples from women who had surgery to remove their cancer.

Researchers wanted to find genetic changes that were linked to an increased risk of endometrial cancer. To do this type of research, they needed blood and tissue samples from a large number of people.

The samples from the NSECG were looked at alongside samples collected in other countries, allowing different groups of researchers to compare the genes of very large numbers of people. Some examples of what they have found so far from these pooled results are listed below.

One study looked at blood and tumour samples from 173 women in the NSECG who had endometrial cancer. They found a particular gene change in 7% of the cancers, even though this gene change is less common than that in the general population.

Another group of researchers looked at the genes of more than 6,000 people both with and without endometrial cancer. They found certain changes to genes usually involved with the process of inflammation may increase the risk of endometrial cancer.

An international group of researchers identified another gene change that may increase the risk of endometrial cancer. This particular change is already associated with an increased risk of prostate cancer.

Researchers already knew of some gene changes that increase breast cancer risk. An international group of researchers looked to see if some of these changes also increased the risk of endometrial cancer. They looked for 9 genetic changes associated with an increased risk of breast cancer but none of them were linked to an increase in endometrial cancer.

The samples collected in the NSECG have helped researchers across the world to learn more about genetic changes and the risk of endometrial cancer.

We have based this summary on information from the team who ran the trial. The information they sent us has been reviewed by independent specialists (peer reviewed) and published in medical journals. The figures we quote above were provided by the trial team. We have not analysed the data ourselves.

Recruitment start:

Recruitment end:

How to join a clinical trial

Please note: In order to join a trial you will need to discuss it with your doctor, unless otherwise specified.

Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Chief Investigator

Professor Ian Tomlinson
Professor Shirley Hodgson

Supported by

Cancer Research UK
National Institute for Health Research Cancer Research Network (NCRN)

Questions about cancer? Contact our information nurses

Freephone 0808 800 4040

Last review date

CRUK internal database number:

Oracle 1017

Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Charlie took part in a trial to try new treatments

A picture of Charlie

“I think it’s really important that people keep signing up to these type of trials to push research forward.”

Last reviewed:

Rate this page:

No votes yet
Thank you!
We've recently made some changes to the site, tell us what you think

Share this page