DFCI researchers find link between Down syndrome and leukemia. Study leaders Andrew Lane and David Weinstock
Big Ideas

Andrew A. Lane, M.D., Ph.D.

Dr. Andrew Lane of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute is a 2014 V Scholar, and his research project, which The V Foundation

DFCI researchers find link between Down syndrome and leukemia. Study leaders Andrew Lane and David Weinstock

helped fund, focuses on understanding the difference in cancer between men and women.

Men have a higher risk of developing cancer than women. This increased risk is almost completely unexplained and occurs across socioeconomic, racial and occupational differences. One important difference between men and women is the number and type of sex chromosomes: men have one X and one Y, women have two X’s. Lane hypothesized that differences in the number of X chromosomes might contribute to the elevated risk of cancer in men. He is currently analyzing DNA sequencing data from over 4,000 patients with 25 different types of cancer to look for factors that might predispose males to develop more cancers. He has found that mutations on the X chromosome differ between male and female cancers.

Lane’s project will contribute to a better understanding of the biology behind why men have an increased risk of cancer. It could tell us about cancer prevention or monitoring strategies that would be different between men and women, and it might direct us to think about how men and women with the same cancer type might respond differently to therapy.

Lane presented his research at the American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI) annual meeting last year as part of the ASCI Young Physician-Scientist Program. The work received an ASCI Young Physician-Scientist Best Abstract Award.