May 14, 2013 |
I didn't realize until now that Angelina Jolie and I have something in common: cancer. Or at least risk factors for it. Jolie, of course, has made worldwide headlines with her dramatic op-ed Tuesday in the New York Times describing her decision to undergo a double mastectomy. And clearly, family history played a big role in her choice : “My mother fought cancer for almost a decade and died at 56,” Jolie writes. “She held out long enough to meet the first of her grandchildren and to hold them in her arms.
November 16, 2009 |
Beverly Howey and her identical twin sister, Karen Duncan-Sherman, each found a breast lump in 2007. Howey's was cancer. Duncan-Sherman's was benign. The two women, now 45, couldn't have more similar genetics, and they live in the same place, Wall, N.J. Why did one develop cancer and not the other? Such questions have plagued breast cancer researchers for decades. Inherited genetic mutations, such as those in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, make up only 5% to 10% of breast cancers. And though there's a clear link between a woman's natural estrogen exposure and her breast cancer risk, there's no magic level that equals cancer.
April 15, 2013 |
Can a private company own rights to your DNA? The nine justices of the Supreme Court will consider that question Monday as lawyers for Myriad Genetics make their best case that the company should be able to keep its patent on two genes known to influence the risk of developing breast cancer and ovarian cancer. Challenging that notion will be lawyers representing the Assn. for Molecular Pathology and other scientific organizations, which argue that allowing genes to be patented slows or shuts down scientific research involving those genes.
October 1, 1996 |
Two studies published in the October issue of Nature Genetics indicate that about 1 in 100 Jewish women of Eastern European descent, or about four times as many as previously thought, harbors a specific genetic mutation that increases her risk of breast and ovarian cancer. The gene in question, called BRCA2, is almost never mutated in other ethnic groups and is unrelated to a gene called BRCA1, which also increases the risk of breast and ovarian cancer.
December 29, 2007 |
A gene known to give many Jewish women a high risk of cancer also puts many U.S. Latino women at high risk, U.S. researchers reported this week in the Journal of the American Medical Assn. They found that 3.5% of Latinas entered in a Northern California breast cancer registry had the BRCA1 genetic mutation, compared with 8.3% of Ashkenazic Jews and 2.2% of non-Ashkenazic white women.
December 21, 1995 |
A British-American team has apparently wrapped up the mystery of inherited breast cancer, isolating a second gene that causes the disorder and thereby opening the door for increased screening in susceptible families. Like the first breast cancer gene, identified in September 1994, the newly discovered gene is thought to be responsible for about half of all inherited cases of breast cancer, which total as many as 18,000 cases a year in the United States.
December 1, 2006 |
A sustained dose of RU-486, the so-called abortion pill, prevented breast cancer tumors in mice with a genetic mutation that made them highly susceptible to the disease, researchers at UC Irvine report today. The mutation in a gene known as BRCA1 leads to uncontrolled cell growth in the mammary glands. About one in 800 women inherits a version of BRCA1 that is damaged in some way, and the National Cancer Institute estimates that up to 80% of such women will develop breast cancer.