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FORCE's eXamining the Relevance of Articles for You (XRAY) program looks behind the headlines of cancer news to help you understand what the research means for you. XRAY is a reliable source of hereditary cancer research-related news and information.
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Keyword: brca

71 through 80 of 119

Relevance: Medium

Research Timeline: Post Approval

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Update : FDA approves at-home test kits for inherited cancer: how useful are they?

Relevance: Medium

Research Timeline: Post Approval

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Most relevant for: People who are considering or have had direct-to-consumer testing through 23andMe

Genetic testing for health conditions (such as risk for cancer) typically requires a prescription from a doctor. Until recently, direct-to-consumer (DTC) genetic testing has focused on tests to learn your ancestry and find of unknown branches of family trees. A laboratory called 23andMe that provides direct-to-consumer genetic testing has been given FDA approval to report results for 3 mutations found in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. The FDA statement provides details about this approval and warns people about the limitations of the 23andMe test. (03/19/18)

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Relevance: Medium-Low

Strength of Science: Medium-Low

Research Timeline: Animal Studies

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Study : Cancer “vaccine” injected directly into tumors works in mice

Relevance: Medium-Low

Strength of Science: Medium-Low

Research Timeline: Animal Studies

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Most relevant for: People with advanced cancers

Immunotherapy is treatment that uses the immune system to fight cancer. Still in its infancy, it is a promising therapy that is changing how certain cancers are treated. A new study reports that tumors in lab mice were eliminated when they were injected with two immune system-enhancing agents. This new approach is called in situ (at the original site) vaccination because the injections are given directly into the tumors. It worked on several different types of mouse tumors, including lymphomas and breast tumors. This approach may be safer than conventional immunotherapy because it uses very low doses of the agents and it does not require tumors to have particular markers. (02/23/18)

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Relevance: Medium-High

Strength of Science: High

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Study : Survival and mutation status in breast cancer patients under age 40

Relevance: Medium-High

Strength of Science: High

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Most relevant for: Young breast cancer patients

Studies have found conflicting rates of survival for BRCA mutation carriers who develop breast cancer, reporting better, worse and similar outcomes compared to patients with sporadic breast cancer. New results of the large Prospective Outcomes in Sporadic versus Hereditary (POSH) breast cancer study found no difference in survival rates between the two groups. The study also concluded that among young triple-negative breast cancer patients during the first 2 years after diagnosis, BRCA mutation carriers had an initial survival advantage compared to women without a BRCA mutation. (02/15/18)

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Relevance: High

Strength of Science: High

Research Timeline: Post Approval

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Study : Should biannual MRIs replace annual mammograms in high-risk women?

Relevance: High

Strength of Science: High

Research Timeline: Post Approval

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Most relevant for: Women at increased risk for breast cancer due to an inherited mutation

The risk of breast cancer is exceptionally high in women who have a personal or family history of breast cancer or who carry a mutation in BRCA or certain other genes. More frequent screening is one strategy for early detection of breast cancer for these women. Study results presented at the 2017 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium suggest that MRI screening every 6 months may be more effective than the currently recommended annual breast MRI and annual mammogram in detecting early stage breast cancers-which are more treatable-in high-risk women. (2/1/18)

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Relevance: Medium-High

Strength of Science: Medium-High

Research Timeline: Post Approval

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Study : What is the risk of breast cancer recurrence after nipple-sparing mastectomy?

Relevance: Medium-High

Strength of Science: Medium-High

Research Timeline: Post Approval

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Most relevant for: Breast cancer patients who are considering or have had a nipple sparing mastectomy

Nipple-sparing mastectomy (NSM) offers better cosmetic results for women who have immediate breast reconstruction (at the same time as their mastectomy). Over the past decade, NSM has gained popularity among surgeons and patients. Studies show that women who keep their own nipples have higher rates of satisfaction and psychological well-being after mastectomy and reconstruction compared to women who lose their nipples. However, little data exists on the long-term risk of recurrence following NSM. New research adds to a growing body of evidence suggesting that risk of recurrence is low after NSM in carefully selected patients with breast cancer. (1/25/18)

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Relevance: Medium-Low

Strength of Science: Medium-Low

Research Timeline: Human Research

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Study : No new high-risk breast cancer genes here

Relevance: Medium-Low

Strength of Science: Medium-Low

Research Timeline: Human Research

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Most relevant for: People with a family history of breast cancer but no known inherited mutation

While some of the genes that cause hereditary breast cancer are known (for example, inherited mutations in genes like BRCA, ATM and PALB2), others remain unidentified. Two studies found 72 DNA changes (also known as “variants” or “SNPs”) that affect breast cancer risk. These variants are different from mutations in genes that dramatically increase cancer risk. Most of these new variants are located outside of the portion of DNA that is used to make proteins. Further research is needed on these new variants before they can be used by doctors to help people understand and manage their risk for cancer. (1/12/18)

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Relevance: High

Strength of Science: Medium-High

Study : Birth control and breast cancer risk among younger women

Relevance: High

Strength of Science: Medium-High

Most relevant for: Young women on, or considering taking hormonal birth control

On December 7, 2017 the New England Journal of Medicine published results from a study by Lina Mørrch of the University of Copenhagen and colleagues showing that hormonal contraceptives (birth control) increase the risk of breast cancer. The study is unique because it is one of the first to specifically assess the breast cancer risk associated with newer, low-dosage methods of contraception. The large and significant effort analyzed medical data of nearly 1.8 million young women in Denmark on average for over 10.9 years. Results were covered widely in the U.S. by many major media outlets, including the New York Times, USA Today, Forbes and Time.  (12/14/17)

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Relevance: Medium-High

Quality of Writing: High

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Article : Preimplantation genetic diagnosis and hereditary cancer

Relevance: Medium-High

Quality of Writing: High

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Most relevant for: people with an inherited mutation linked to cancer risk

Andrew Joseph’s piece for STAT, “A baby with a disease gene or no baby at all: Genetic testing of embryos creates an ethical morass,” focuses on  preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) and the emerging ethical issue in the field of reproductive medicine: What to do when patients seeking to get pregnant select embryos with DNA that could lead to a disease or a disability.  (11/8/17)

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Relevance: Medium-High

Quality of Writing: Medium-High

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Article : Can lifestyle changes impact breast cancer risk?

Relevance: Medium-High

Quality of Writing: Medium-High

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Most relevant for: Any woman concerned about her risk for breast cancer

A recent New York Times article shared how “adopting protective living habits”  could help keep breast cancer “at bay”.  While many of these lifestyle changes and strategies like not smoking, avoiding weight gain, reducing alcohol consumption, eating a heart-healthy diet, and increasing physical activity have been shown to reduce breast cancer risk, there are other risk factors that one cannot control such as having a BRCA or other mutation that significantly increases breast cancer risk. Importantly, no one strategy has been proven to totally eliminate breast cancer risk. However many of these approaches have overall health benefits. (9/21/2017)

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Relevance: Medium-High

Strength of Science: Medium-High

Research Timeline: Post Approval

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Study : Does expanded genetic testing benefit Jewish women diagnosed with breast cancer?

Relevance: Medium-High

Strength of Science: Medium-High

Research Timeline: Post Approval

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Most relevant for: Jewish women with breast cancer who previously tested negative for the three most common BRCA mutations

BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations are common in people of Eastern European (Ashkenazi) Jewish descent. About 2% of all Ashkenazi Jewish people will test positive for one of three common mutations in these genes. Genetic testing for Jewish people sometimes focuses on only the three most common mutations. For Jewish women with breast cancer, little is known about their chance of carrying a different hereditary mutation that may increase risk. This study looked at expanded genetic testing in Jewish women diagnosed with breast cancer to learn how often they carried mutations other than the three most common BRCA gene mutations found in Ashkenazi Jewish people. (09/13/17)

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