A woman who has been diagnosed with 12 tumors in her life has an unprecedented genetic mutation

A woman who has been diagnosed with 12 tumors in her life has an unprecedented genetic mutation

The woman developed 12 tumors – seven benign and five cancerous – before her 40th birthday. Medical researchers recently discovered why she is so prone to abnormal growths: She carries a set of genetic mutations never before seen in humans.

The woman, now 36, carries two mutated copies of a gene called MAD1L1, one from each parent, according to a new report published Wednesday (November 2) in the journal Scientific progress (opens in a new tab). The gene encodes a protein called MAD1, which plays a key role in cell division.

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