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X’ explains why cancer occurs more in males



Researchers, X chromosome, sex chromosomes, cancer, Males have X and a Y chromosome, females have two X, tumour, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Massachusetts

X AND Y chromosome

New York: Researchers have identified that X chromosome — one of the sex chromosomes that determines whether an individual is male or female — plays a major role in the increased incidence of cancer occurrence in males. “Across virtually every type of cancer, occurrence rates are higher in males than in females. In some cases, the difference might be very small — just a few percent points — but in certain cancers, incidence is two or three times higher in males,” said Andrew Lane from at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Massachusetts, US.

Men outpace women in developing many cancers, including those associated with tobacco use, such as kidney, renal, bladder, and oral cancers, Lane said.  The disparity is present among boys and girls, as well as men and women. “Data from the National Cancer Institute show that males carry about a 20 per cent higher risk than females of developing cancer. That translates into 150,000 additional new cases of cancer in men every year,” Lane added.

In the study, the researchers specifically focussed on tumour suppressor genes — which protect the cells from cancer. In cancers, these tumour suppressor genes are often mutated or deleted and are no longer functional. X chromosome was the only genes that were mutated more frequently in male cancers than female cancers.

Males have an X and a Y chromosome, and females have two X. In females, one of the X chromosomes shuts down and remains inactive for life to balance out the gene expression.  The study showed that some genes on the inactivated X chromosome in female cells “escape” that dormant state and function normally.

Thus females are protected from cancer to some relative extent because they have two copies of these genes whereas males only have one, the researchers said.  So if they are going to get a cancer that those genes are involved in, they have to mutate them twice, whereas males only have to have one mutation, Lane said. The study was reported in a paper published online in the journal Nature Genetics.



Health Ministry say’s for COVID-19 vaccin,No vaccination for pregnant, lactating women at this time.



The Union Health Ministry has informed all states and union territories that interchangeability of COVID-19 vaccines is not permitted, and pregnant and lactating women should not be administered the shots as they have not been part of any anti-coronavirus vaccine clinical trial so far.

The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) had recently granted emergency use authorisation to two COVID-19 vaccines – Covishield, developed by Oxford University and British-Swedish company AstraZeneca, and manufactured by the Serum Institute of India (SII) and Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin.

India will launch its COVID-19 vaccination drive from January 16 in what Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called the world’s largest inoculation programme.

Ahead of the vaccination drive, in a letter to all states and UTs, the ministry highlighted that under the emergency use authorisation, coronavirus vaccination is indicated only for 18 years and above.

Around three lakh healthcare and frontline workers will be inoculated at 2,934 sites across the country on the first day of the nationwide vaccination drive.

The ministry has already said that getting vaccinated for COVID-19 will be voluntary.

A consignment of an anti-COVID vaccine comprising its 93,000 doses reached Himachal Pradesh’s capital Shimla on January 14, said State Health Secretary Amitabh Avasthi. The consignment of Covishield vaccine had been airlifted from Pune to Chandigarh, from where it was brought to Shimla by road, he said.

A consignment of 18,500 COVID-19 vaccines, to be used in the first phase of inoculation, arrived in Aizawl from New Delhi on the day.

The first consignment of 32,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine arrived in Arunachal Pradesh in a vaccine van from Guwahati on the day.

Nagaland received its first consignment of 26,500 doses of COVID-19 vaccine, said an official. The vials arrived from Delhi at Dimapur Airport in an aircraft, he said.

A Maharashtra government official has said it will take six to seven months for the vaccine to become available for those who are not in the high-risk category.

Around 1.62 lakh COVID-19 vaccine has reached all the 24 districts of Jharkhand for the scheduled first phase of the vaccination drive on January 16, according to a top Health department official.

(With inputs from PTI)

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