Biological sex shapes tumour evolution across cancer types
A person’s sex can affect the kinds of cancer-causing mutations they develop, according to a genomic analysis spanning nearly 2,000 tumours and 28 types of cancer.
The results show striking differences in the cancer-causing mutations found in people who are biologically male versus those who are biologically female — not only in the number of mutations lurking in their tumours, but also in the kinds of mutations found there.
Liver tumours from women were more likely to carry mutations caused by a faulty system of DNA mending called mismatch repair, for instance. And men with any type of cancer were more likely to exhibit DNA changes thought to be linked to a process that the body uses to repair DNA with two broken strands.