Joining FORCEs Newsletter

Joining FORCES is the FORCE newsletter with news, views and supportive information for individuals concerned about hereditary breast and ovarian cancer.

Penn Study Shows Risk of Breast and Ovarian Cancer May Differ by Type of BRCA 1/2 Mutations

In a study involving more than 31,000 women with cancer-causing mutations in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes, researchers at the Basser Research Center for BRCA, the Abramson Cancer Center, and the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania demonstrated that the risks of breast or ovarian cancer are different depending on the location of the mutation within the gene. Authors say the results show that some mutations in some areas confer higher risks of breast cancer relative to other mutations, while mutations in other areas show relatively higher risks of ovarian cancer. These findings may lead to more effective cancer risk assessment, care and prevention strategies. Additional research is required to determine what level of absolute risk change between mutation types will influence medical decision making and standards of care, such as timing of preventive surgery, for carriers of BRCA1/2 mutations.


Rebbeck TR, Mitra N, Wan F, et al. "Association of Type and Location of BRCA1 and BRCA2 Mutations with Risk of Breast and Ovarian Cancer." Journal of the American Medical Association (2015) Vol. 313, No. 13, pp.1347-61.


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