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New breast cancer genes identified?


Ask-the-Expert Online Conference

Question from Lisa: Are there any new breast cancer genes on the horizon in addition to BRCA1 and 2?
Answers - Lynn Hartmann There has been a lot of intense research to try to identify additional breast cancer susceptibility genes besides BRCA1 and 2, but to date we have not found any as important as these two. We are still learning that other genes may affect the function of BRCA1 and 2, and testing may become more refined within the next few years. Certain alterations in BRCA1 and 2 whose function is not currently understood may also be better defined in the next few years. Bottom line: many women today get a result [from testing] that is uninformative. There may be a slight change in the gene and we do not know if that's a significant mutation or not. So there are studies going on to determine whether those fairly common types of changes are really meaningful in predisposing women to cancer.

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