Researchers have uncovered nine additional gene mutations they believe are linked to the development of ovarian cancer.
About 21,290 women in the U.S. will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer this year, and about 14, 180 will die this year of the disease. Although it isn’t known what causes most ovarian cancer, about 15 percent is attributed to heredity.
Previous studies have linked hereditary ovarian cancer to genetic mutations in either one of two breast cancer genes, known as BRCA1 and BRCA2, but now Brown University Medical School researchers say they’ve uncovered nine additional genetic mutations that may raise risk.
They identified more than 1,900 women with ovarian cancer whose cases they then evaluated according to information on gene mutation frequencies. Clinical characteristics and survival rates were also assessed. The study revealed that 18 percent of the women with ovarian cancer carried mutations in genes beyond the BRCA1 and BRCA2.
“The results of this trial expanded our knowledge of the genes that we suspect cause hereditary ovarian cancer, bringing the total to 11," says Dr. Paul DiSilvestro, one of the researchers. "Genetic testing should now begin screening for these nine additional genetic mutations so women carrying the genes can make educated decisions about their health care future,” he adds of the study, which appears in JAMA Oncology.
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