October 29, 2010
Genetic Variants May Affect The Risk Of Breast Cancer In Women With BRCA2 Mutations
An international study led by researchers at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center has identified genetic variants in women with BRCA2 mutations that may increase or decrease their risk of developing breast cancer. The study was published today online in the open-access journal PLoS Genetics.
The findings of the study suggest that genetic variants on chromosomes 10 and 20 may modify risk for breast cancer among women with a BRCA2 mutation.
"The risk of breast cancer associated with BRCA2 mutations varies widely. Our goal in this study was to test the hypothesis that common genetic variants may modify cancer risk in those already carrying 'high risk' mutations," said the study's senior author, Kenneth Offit, MD, MPH, Chief of the Clinical Genetics Service at Memorial Sloan-Kettering. "It's interesting that our study of BRCA2 and a companion study of BRCA1 both found that women with BRCA mutations likely have the same risk modifiers for breast cancer as women in the general population."
While the authors state that these findings do not have any immediate clinical implications, the discovery of these risk modifiers for women with BRCA2 mutations is important for further research into the role of genetic causes of breast cancer.
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