Magazine article Nutrition Health Review

Tests Miss Genetic Abnormalities in High Risk Families for Cancer

Magazine article Nutrition Health Review

Tests Miss Genetic Abnormalities in High Risk Families for Cancer

Article excerpt

Researchers from the University of Washington in Seattle wanted to see how many genetic abnormalities were missed by commercial genetic testing in families that were at high risk for breast and ovarian cancer. They looked at 300 relatives within families in the United States that included four or more cases of breast or ovarian cancer.

Special genetic tests were conducted to determine whether any of the participants had genetic abnormalities in BRCA1, BRCA2, CHEK2, TP53, and PTEN genes that commercial genetic tests had missed. Genetic tests of women at high risk for breast cancer missed 17 percent of flaws in three of the four mutated genes. (No abnormal PTEN genes were detected.)

The 52 participants with abnormal genes had 28 different abnormalities, and the range of abnormalities was very broad. The researchers found many genetic mutations that had been previously unknown.

Abnormal BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes were found in more participants with ovarian cancer, male breast cancer, or both in their families (29 of 160 people, or 18 percent) than in people with only female breast cancer in their families (6 of 140 people, or 4. …

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