A reprint of the Bullet Points
- People with autism had more variation in genes known to cause cancer
- Yet they were 66% less likely to be diagnosed with the disease, study found
- Experts: Findings could pave way for new treatments for both conditions
- Scientists already studying whether cancer drugs could help treat autism
People with autism are significantly less likely to suffer from cancer, a study has revealed.
While they have more gene mutations known to cause cancer, they are 66 per cent less likely to be diagnosed with the disease, researchers found.
Experts said the condition appears to have a protective effect against it – which is stronger in teenagers and declines with age – although it is not known why the link exists.
The finding could improve understanding of both conditions, possibly paving the way for new treatments, researchers said.
Dr Benjamin Darbro, of the University of Iowa, said: ‘It’s a very provocative result that makes sense on one level and is extremely perplexing on another.’