XRAYS Quarterly Digest

XRAYS: Making Sense of Cancer Headlines
Fall Edition

XRAYS Quarterly Digest For Fall 2018

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A compilation of the past quarter's reviewed articles.

FORCE's eXamining the Relevance of Articles for Young Survivors (XRAYS) program, is a reliable resource designed to help young breast cancer survivors and high-risk women navigate through breast cancer research related news and information

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STUDY: Breast cancer risk increases modestly after childbirth

Does having children alter the risk of breast cancer? Women who give birth have a lower lifetime risk of breast cancer. However, newer data suggests that breast cancer risk increases immediately after childbirth. This XRAYS reviews a meta-analysis from Hazel Nichols, PhD and colleagues published in December 2018 that examines data from the Premenopausal Breast Cancer Collective Group seeking to clarify this issue. (12/28/18)

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STUDY: Inherited breast cancer in Nigerian women

A new study shows that among Nigerian women, one in eight cases of breast cancer is due to an inherited mutation in BRCA1, BRCA2, PALB2 or TP53. (12/5/18)

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ARTICLE: Pamela Munster's story: Cancer in the family

In the Saturday essay of The Washington Post, Dr. Pamela Munster recounts her family's history with cancer associated with a mutation in the BRCA2 gene. She details her father's extraordinary journey with pancreatic cancer, one of the most aggressive and deadly cancers. (11/27/18)

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STUDY: Can population-based DNA sequencing identify those at risk for hereditary cancers?

It is well documented that many BRCA mutation carriers are missed using current family history-based screening approaches. As a result, experts are beginning to call for population-based BRCA genetic testing—an organized effort to screen all women like we do for breast and cervical cancer.  A recent study looked at whether a population-based genetic testing approach would better identify mutation carriers compared with current practice. (11/17/18)

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ARTICLE: Underrepresentation of racial groups in clinical trials: impact on research and underserved populations

A recent article by Caroline Chen and Riley Wong looks at racial disparities between participation in clinical trials and the population of people with cancer. (11/6/18)

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STUDY: Surgeon attitude impacts rate of genetic testing after a breast cancer diagnosis

A study in JAMA Surgery this year examined the factors that impact genetic testing after a breast cancer diagnosis. This study suggests that the attitudes of attending surgeons about genetic testing have the most impact on whether patients receive testing. (10/6/18)

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STUDY: A new method for determining whether genetic variants in BRCA1 increase cancer risk

Ever since BRCA1 was discovered, researchers have been trying to understand which of the thousands of possible DNA changes in this gene increase cancer risk and which are harmless changes.  A new study in Nature reports how a cutting-edge technology called “genome editing” may be used to classify changes—known as variants of uncertain significance-in BRCA1 as harmful or harmless. Once validated, this same technology may be used to classify variants in other genes. (9/29/18)

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