Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

A `Lost' Gene Is Found

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

A `Lost' Gene Is Found

Article excerpt

Last year, hope was kindled, and then somewhat extinguished, when a gene called BRCA-1 was identified and linked to breast cancer.

Scientists discovered that a mutated BRCA-1 was implicated in familial or genetically inherited breast cancer; women with a mutated BRCA-1 gene were virtually guaranteed to contract breast cancer sometime in their lives. But because familial breast cancer accounts for only 5 percent to 10 percent of the 182,000 cases of breast cancer reported each year, the discovery, while important, did not seem to have wide applicability.

Now that outlook has changed. Recent research reported in Science magazine suggests BRCA-1 may play a role in all breast cancers and perhaps even ovarian cancer. While the latest insights into BRCA-1's role are still tentative, they offer real hope and promise - first that medical understanding of breast cancer will be refined and advanced, and second that treatments may become available.

In basic terms, the BRCA-1 gene tells cells to make the BRCA-1 protein. …

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