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NEWS
May 14, 2013 | By Alexandra Le Tellier
Angelina Jolie's Op-Ed in the New York Times about getting a double mastectomy after learning that she was at risk of getting breast cancer struck a chord with fellow celebs as well as with Los Angeles Times staffers Anna Gorman and Paul Whitefield , who wrote about their own experiences Tuesday.  Jolie's Op-Ed specifically focuses on BRCA1 and BRCA2, known as the breast cancer genes. “I have always told [my kids] not to worry [about me getting cancer], but the truth is I carry a 'faulty' gene, BRCA1, which sharply increases my risk of developing breast cancer and ovarian cancer ,” she writes.
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SCIENCE
April 15, 2013 | By Eryn Brown
As the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case against Myriad Genetics, scientists who are skeptical of the idea of patenting genes said they were hopeful that the justices would overturn the Utah company's claims. "I was on pins and needles the whole time," said Dr. Wayne Grody, director of the Diagnostic Molecular Pathology Laboratory at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, who was present at the arguments. "But at the end I thought, 'The justices really get it' ... I felt that all of them who spoke weren't comfortable with the idea of patenting a gene.
NEWS
April 15, 2013 | By Peter D. Meldrum
In their April 12 Op-Ed article " Who should own DNA? All of us ," Marcy Darnovsky and Karuna Jaggar write about Myriad's patents on BRCA1 and BRCA2, the so-called breast cancer genes (which were under review Monday at the U.S. Supreme Court), as if they have served little purpose in the development of tests that have helped more than 1 million women to understand their risks of breast cancer and ovarian cancer. The patents do not cover human genes from anyone's body.
SCIENCE
June 13, 2013 | By Amina Khan
When Dr. Wayne Grody heard that the Supreme Court ruled Thursday that Myriad Genetics could not patent two genes linked to breast cancer, the UCLA medical geneticist was minutes from giving a well-worn speech on the years-old case to a room full of University of Oregon medical school students. "I improvised when I got to the very end," Grody said. The court's 9-0 decision in the case involving the Utah-based Myriad Genetics was welcome news to Grody as well as other doctors and genetic counselors concerned about future research and genetic counselors who said they've had their hands tied by the company's high prices and tough patent enforcement.
NEWS
May 14, 2013 | By Jon Healey
It's hard to imagine Supreme Court justices paying much attention to the travails of Hollywood's rich and famous. Still, there's an interesting connection between Angelina Jolie's disclosure Tuesday that she underwent a double mastectomy and a case the court is deliberating, the Assn. for Molecular Pathology vs. Myriad Genetics . At issue is whether a human gene sequence can be patented. That's the broad question. The two specific sequences patented by Myriad -- BRCA1 and BRCA2 -- are genes that suppress tumors . A small percentage of women have defective copies of those genes, and they are extremely likely to develop a virulent form of breast cancer.
NEWS
November 5, 2010 | By Thomas H. Maugh II, Los Angeles Times
The proportion of women having both breasts removed when breast cancer appears in one has increased more than ten-fold over a 10-year period, despite a limited amount of evidence showing a survival benefit for the procedure, researchers reported Wednesday. Nearly one in every 20 women now has the second breast removed in an effort to forestall the development of a tumor in it, Dr. Katherine Yao of the NorthShore University HealthSystem in Evanston, Ill. and her colleagues reported in the October issue of the Annals of Surgical Oncology.
SCIENCE
August 31, 2010 | By Thomas H. Maugh II, Los Angeles Times
Preemptive removal of breasts or ovaries in women with two common breast cancer genes can sharply reduce the risk of contracting cancer and dying, even if a woman has already been diagnosed with breast cancer, a new study confirms. Researchers were already confident that such prophylactic surgeries reduce the risk of cancer, but the new study , reported Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Assn., is the largest such investigation to date and the first to differentiate the benefits based on which gene a woman has and whether or not she has already had cancer.
NEWS
July 25, 2012 | By Rosie Mestel, Los Angeles Times
Maybe you've been reading a lot lately about the development of fetal DNA tests based on a curious fact -- that the blood of a pregnant woman contains tiny bits of DNA of the fetus. Several groups have recently used this fact to sequence the entire genome of a fetus and pick up the presence of extra chromosomes or even individual gene variants that would render the baby prone to health conditions. It's an important development with much promise, health researchers say, because it offers a way to detect genetic abnormalities very early, without the small but real risk of miscarriage that comes with today's widely used screening technologies: amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling.
SCIENCE
May 14, 2013 | By Anna Gorman
Late Monday night, friends and colleagues started sending me Angelina Jolie's op-ed about her decision to have a double mastectomy. Like Jolie, I have the mutation in my BRCA1 gene that pushed my lifetime risk of developing breast cancer to nearly 90%. (It also raised my risk of ovarian cancer above 50%.) Also like Jolie, I chose to get a double mastectomy to reduce my risk of breast cancer to less than 5%. In 2007, I wrote a first-person story in the Los Angeles Times about finding out I had this mutation and how I decided what to do about it. Jolie is an icon of beauty -- and her disclosure doesn't change that.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 21, 2013 | By Robin Abcarian, Los Angeles Times
Four days after her April 27 breast reconstruction, the third and final surgery aimed at sparing her an early death from breast cancer, Angelina Jolie was in good spirits at home. Upon paying a house call, her surgeon, Dr. Kristi Funk of the Pink Lotus Breast Center in Beverly Hills, found two walls of the actress' home covered with "freshly assembled story boards" for her next directorial project. "All the while she spoke," the doctor later wrote on her blog, "six drains dangled from her chest, three on each side, fastened to an elastic belt around her waist.
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