Cambridge genome aces help identify new breast cancer threats

Breast cancer

More women at risk due to discovery of further cancer causing gene mutations

The city is now looking at where to donate this year's proceeds, Bradshaw said, and is considering the Sisters Network, among different local breast cancer support organizations.

"Imagine if we could just give something that targets the cancer, wherever it may be, breast or otherwise", Dr. Eng said.

Previous research about the presence of common BRCA1 and BRCA 2 gene mutations show they also account for about 17 percent of heritable breast cancer risk. "Her insurance company might not cover her for breast cancer". Healthy, non-cancerous breast tissue had more of a certain type of bacteria, but the cancerous tissues had other types of bacteria that were elevated. Breast cancer is the second most common cancer among women in the USA, affecting one in every eight women.

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"As well as identifying new genetic variants, we have also confirmed many that we had previously suspected".

'There are some clear patterns in the genetic variants that should help us understand why some women are predisposed to breast cancer, and which genes and mechanisms are involved'.

In what's being billed as the world's largest collective study on the genetics of breast cancer, researchers have discovered 72 new gene variants that appear to be responsible for increasing the risk of developing the disease. "There's been a lot of research trying to figure out what that something else is".

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"We knew about 100 before, it is a big contribution but probably more important than the number is the methods we developed", she said.

While studying 21,468 ER-negative cases, the researchers identified 10 new gene mutations that could explain approximately 1.5 of the heritable risk of ER-negative breast cancer. The studies identified genetic regions specifically associated with either oestrogen-receptor positive or oestrogen receptor negative breast cancer, underscoring the fact that these are biologically distinct cancers that develop differently.

'These gene changes now have the potential to be incorporated into existing models to more accurately predict an individual's risk, and to improve both prevention and early detection of the disease.

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The total known number of mutations that can lead to breast cancer is now 180. However, we have developed a mathematical algorithm that incorporates the effect of each of the variations worn by a woman and which calculates from this the probability of her developing breast cancer, " says Simard, who sees in this new tool a way to identify women without a family history of breast cancer or ovarian cancer, but who are at high risk of suffering from such a cancer.

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