Ovarian cancer patients’ tissue samples to be tested for BRCA gene mutation

Thousands of women diagnosed with ovarian cancer will be tested to see if they are hidden carriers of the gene that can cause the deadly disease.

The Traceback program at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Melbourne will test tissue samples of 11,000 women diagnosed between 2001 and 2016 to see if they are carriers of the BRCA gene mutations.

People with BRCA mutations are at an increased risk of breast, ovarian and prostate cancers.

Professor David Bowtell from the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre said at least 1,500 of the women may have unknowingly inherited a BRCA mutation.

“BRCA1 and 2 mutations occur in up to 20 per cent of patients with ovarian cancer, particularly those with a serious type of the disease,” he said.

Before the Traceback program, there had been no active program in finding women who missed the opportunity to be tested for both mutations, experts said. Read more… 

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