As the only national nonprofit advocacy organization focused on hereditary breast and ovarian cancer, FORCE has a strong commitment to promoting research.
The Basser Research Center for BRCA is part of the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania. The Basser Center aims to use cutting edge research in the basic and clinical sciences to advance the care of individuals who carry BRCA mutations. The Basser Center infuses powerful resources to support cancer care and BRCA research at every stage including communication, outreach and risk assessment, prevention, early detection, treatment, clinical trials, and survivorship.
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The Basser Research Center for BRCA conducts and collaborates on research related to BRCA1 and BRCA2. The goal is to learn from today’s patients and better understand BRCA mutations in order to impact care for future generations of BRCA1/2 carriers.
Patient participation in research studies led to the initial discovery of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, as well as the development of better strategies for managing cancer risks and ultimately treating cancers.
Some of our studies are clinical trials that test novel therapies or interventions. Other studies are observational and individuals can often participate from afar.
To learn more about participating in research, visit our Open Studies page.
Basser Research Center for BRCA Presents at ASCO 2014
Earlier this past summer, oncologists from around the world gathered to hear cutting-edge scientific presentations showcasing new findings in oncology at the American Society of Clinical Oncology. Investigators from Penn Medicine’s Basser Research Center for BRCA presented on a range of topics related to hereditary breast and ovarian cancer.
Katherine L. Nathanson, MD, presented on 'multiplex testing" for hereditary cancer risk. Historically, individuals with family histories of cancer were told about the individual genes that may be at the root the family’s history of cancer.
For example, a 40-year-old woman with breast cancer whose paternal grandmother also had the disease might be advised to consider BRCA1 and BRCA2 testing. Similarly, a 25-year-old woman with breast cancer might be offered testing for BRCA1 and BRCA2 but also a gene called TP53 associated with much younger breast cancers.
Now, in 2014, multiplex or “panel” testing allows a healthcare provider to offer individuals testing for genes which have a predisposition to cancer all at once. This commercially available test has brought opportunities and challenges to the world of cancer genetics for patients and providers alike. ASCO 2014 highlighted the divergent opinions on the new technology.
To learn more:
Families with BRCA mutations or unrelated histories of breast cancer often wonder how this history can impact their girls as they grow into young adults.
Basser Investigator, Angela Bradbury, MD, has devoted her career to studying these issues and discusses her abstract on worry and behavior among teens at higher risk for breast cancer.
To learn more:
For women who carry BRCA mutations, in is standard practice to discuss preventative removal of the ovaries and fallopian tubes between ages 35 to 40 or after child-bearing is complete.
These discussions inevitably lead to concerns about the potential impact of the procedure, which is called risk-reducing salpingo oophorectomy.
To learn more about Susan Domchek MD's research, you can read her interview with MedPage Todayorsee the Penn Medicine News Release.
The Basser Research Center for BRCA thanks the nearly 300 attendees of the 2014 Joining FORCES conference who joined the Basser Research Registry! "We are continually impressed by the enthusiastic support of research shown by FORCE members. It would take us months to recruit that many carriers through our Cancer Risk Evaluation Program," says Becca Mueller, CGC.
BRCA1 and BRCA2 Mutations in the Ashkenazi Jewish Community
The Basser Research Center for BRCA has launched a national campaign to raise awareness of BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations in individuals of Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry. To learn more, look for posters in your synagogue, or visit the Basser website page on this initiative.
FORCE Supports Important Research: The Basser Research Center Says "Thank You"
The Basser Research Center for BRCA wants to thank FORCE for helping enroll 100 BRCA carriers into the Basser Research Registry at the 2012 Joining FORCE's conference.
"It would take us 6 months to recruit that many carriers through our Cancer Risk Evaluation Program," says Becca Mueller, CGC, Basser Center outreach coordinator. "We are thrilled with the enthusiastic support of research that FORCE members show and look forward to sharing our research findings with the community."