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Gene database promises greater accuracy to breast cancer risk assessment

| | June 6, 2016
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A cluster of breast cancer cells (Credit: Annie Cavanagh. Wellcome Images [email protected] via Flickr)
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Doctors can now give women with the BRCA1 and 2 genes a clearer genetic picture of their risk for developing ovarian and breast cancer by tapping a database that in its first year has helped scientists parse hundreds of genetic variations.

Researchers will announce the results of the initiative’s first year at the 6th International Biennial Meeting of Human Variome Project Consortium (HVP6) at UNESCO headquarters in Paris.

People who have the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes are at a higher risk for the cancers. Screening for the gene got worldwide attention in March 2015 when Angelina Jolie announced that she had the BRCA1 gene and had undergone surgery to remove her ovaries and fallopian tubes. Two years earlier, she opted for a preventive double mastectomy. Jolie’s mother died of ovarian cancer at 56.

The effort pools patients’ BRCA genetic data from public and private labs that join and become members of the database, which was founded by U.S.-based Quest Diagnostics and Inserm, a French public health institute. U.S.-based LabCorp was the first commercial participant.

Read full, original post: Breast cancer gene database gives clearer picture of risk

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