The Intersectionality of Muscular Dystrophy and Cancer

Angelique Robinson


Muscular dystrophy is a group of heritable, neuromuscular disorders that are progressively degenerative to the musculoskeletal system. There are approximately 30 muscular dystrophy disorders, all of which vary according to one’s age, the severity of the individual’s disorder, and one’s affected muscles. Specifically, Duchenne and Becker muscular dystrophies occur due to genetic mutations affecting the production of a complex of proteins called dystrophin. Dystrophin is responsible for strengthening and protecting one's skeletal and cardiac muscles. Without an adequate amount of dystrophin production, atrophy, fibrosis, and muscle degeneration can ensue. While the primary cause of death in this terminal disorder is cardio-respiratory failure, certain cancers have been associated with specific muscular dystrophies. Studies have concluded Duchenne and Becker's are potentially implicative of the development of various types of cancers, such as melanomas, carcinomas, and sarcomas. Further research on dystrophin's involvement in the onset of cancer is needed and can aid in the understanding of the complexity of muscular dystrophy (which currently has no known cure).

Full Text:



  • There are currently no refbacks.