Breast cancer patients have a lower chance of long-term survival if they carry an inherited mutation in the BRCA1 gene, according to research published in Breast Cancer Research this week. However, the poor prognosis associated with the mutated gene is mitigated by chemotherapy.
The breast cancer susceptibility genes, BRCA1 and BRCA2, were identified over eight years ago, but the best way of treating women who develop hereditary breast cancer associated with mutations in these genes is still not clear.
A team of researchers from McGill University in Montreal and the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York investigated how the prognosis of breast cancer was affected by mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2, and by the administration of chemotherapy. They studied the clinical records of 496 women of Ashkenazi Jewish descent who underwent treatment for invasive breast cancer between 1980 and 1995. Their results suggest that physicians should take the presence of such mutations into account when they are making treatment decisions.
Gemma Bradley | EurekAlert!
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