A Breakthrough Study Reveals 72 New Breast Cancer Gene Variants
Scientists hope to be able to test for the new genetic variants in order to inform preventative approaches and treatment for women who may be at a higher risk of breast cancer.
New genes identified to know a womans chances of breast cancer
Two genes already commonly associated with breast cancer are BRCA1 and BRCA2. The researchers discovered nine more variations affecting the gene BRCA1, which popularly caused Hollywood actress Angelina Jolie to have a mastectomy after finding out that she carried the gene. In total, they confirmed 107 genetic variants and 72 new ones. The discovery allowed the team to calculate that one in 10 women have a 70 per cent higher risk of getting breast cancer.
It was found that 65 of the newly identified genetic variants were same in women with breast cancer. The remaining 7 mutations predispose women to develop a different kind of a breast cancer which is called estrogen-receptor-negative breast cancer. This is a kind that doesn't respond to hormonal therapies. This takes the total number of known variants associated with breast cancer to nearly 180.
As per National Cancer Institute, 55% to 65% of women who inherit a BRCA1 mutation and around 45% of women who inherit a BRCA2 mutation will develop breast cancer by age 70. But the BRCA1 and BRCA2 risk mutations (present in less than 1% of women) give explanation for a part fraction of all breast cancers which have been inherited. The consortium came together to find out the other reasons of breast cancer chances - genetic mutations which are additional that can lead to this kind of a cancer.