Current detection strategies are found to have identified only 2.6% of the BRCA gene mutation carriers in the Greater London population, according to a recent study published in the Journal of Medical genetics. The findings of the study, performed by researchers from the BCI’s Centre for Experimental Cancer Medicine, led by Dr Ranjit Manchanda, suggest that enhanced and new approaches are required to maximise the opportunity for breast and ovarian cancer prevention.
BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations are associated with an increased risk of breast and ovarian cancer. A recent study has shown that about 72 and 69% of women who inherit a harmful mutation in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, respectively, develop breast cancer by 80 years of age. Additionally, 44 and 17% of women who inherit a harmful mutation in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, respectively, develop ovarian cancer by 80 years of age. Identifying mutation carriers is therefore critical to reduce the number of BRCA-associated cancers.