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Faster genetic testing method will likely transform care for patients with breast cancer
Date:3/26/2014

s (which might increase their risk of developing another breast cancer in the same or other breast in the future) before the start of treatment, more women might opt for mastectomy instead of breast-conserving surgery or for double rather than single mastectomy. Dr Pilgrim noted that some of the mutations that are detected might also confer increased risks of developing other cancers, which would indicate the need to monitor at-risk patients closely for these cancers as well. "The converse is also true," he said. "NGS can be used to find genetic mutations in people with other hereditary cancers or conditions. For example, a woman with ovarian cancer might be found to have a BRCA1 mutation, and hence breast units must be prepared to handle questions about the management of breast cancer risk in patients referred by other specialties." Dr Pilgrim added that NGS will have implications for the relatives of people found to have mutations linked to breast or other cancers, and therefore family members may also wish to undergo testing after appropriate counseling.

In the longer term, being able to identify patients with breast cancer who carry certain gene mutations before they start treatment will help researchers conduct clinical trials to establish which treatments are best for carriers of particular mutations. Dr Pilgrim noted that research already suggests that BRCA1-associated breast cancer is more responsive to certain chemotherapy drugs than sporadic breast cancers are.


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Contact: Evelyn Martinez
sciencenewsroom@wiley.com
201-748-6358
Wiley
Source:Eurekalert

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