Breast cancer gene increases risk of several cancers in men

September 01, 2005

A genetic mutation implicated in an increased risk of breast and ovarian cancers also significantly increases the risk of pancreatic and prostate cancers in men, finds research in the Journal of Medical Genetics.

The mutation in the BRAC2 gene may also increase the risk of bone and throat cancers, the data suggest.

The Dutch researchers investigated 139 families with 66 different mutations of the BRAC2 gene between them. The families were all drawn from a national register of families with breast and ovarian cancers in several family members.

To provide a more accurate picture of risk, the researchers avoided the known carriers, and studied the incidence of cancers among family members with a 50% chance of being a carrier, amounting to 1811 people.

They then calculated the overall risk of developing these cancers in comparison with the expected rates in the general population.

Among the 441 people who were tested for BRAC2, just over two thirds (69%) carried the mutation.

In total, there were 158 cases of cancer among the 303 carriers of the genetic mutation compared with just 18 cases among the 138 who did not carry the mutation.

There were higher numbers of prostate, pancreatic, pharyngeal and bone cancers than would be expected in the general population.

Compared with the general population carriers of the BRAC2 genetic mutation were almost seven times and eight times as likely to have, respectively, pharyngeal and pancreatic cancers. Male carriers were more than twice as likely to have prostate cancer.

Carriers were also around 15 times as likely to have bone cancer, although the authors point out that this could have been the result of spread from another primary cancer.

Almost all of these increased risks were significant for men only, and tended to be stronger for people under the age of 65.

As 11 of the 24 men with prostate cancer had died, the authors suggest that early radical treatment for the disease might be offered to men who carry the genetic mutation, rather than the watchful waiting, which is common policy.

BMJ Specialty Journals

Related Cancer Articles from Brightsurf:

New blood cancer treatment works by selectively interfering with cancer cell signalling
University of Alberta scientists have identified the mechanism of action behind a new type of precision cancer drug for blood cancers that is set for human trials, according to research published in Nature Communications.

UCI researchers uncover cancer cell vulnerabilities; may lead to better cancer therapies
A new University of California, Irvine-led study reveals a protein responsible for genetic changes resulting in a variety of cancers, may also be the key to more effective, targeted cancer therapy.

Breast cancer treatment costs highest among young women with metastic cancer
In a fight for their lives, young women, age 18-44, spend double the amount of older women to survive metastatic breast cancer, according to a large statewide study by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Cancer mortality continues steady decline, driven by progress against lung cancer
The cancer death rate declined by 29% from 1991 to 2017, including a 2.2% drop from 2016 to 2017, the largest single-year drop in cancer mortality ever reported.

Stress in cervical cancer patients associated with higher risk of cancer-specific mortality
Psychological stress was associated with a higher risk of cancer-specific mortality in women diagnosed with cervical cancer.

Cancer-sniffing dogs 97% accurate in identifying lung cancer, according to study in JAOA
The next step will be to further fractionate the samples based on chemical and physical properties, presenting them back to the dogs until the specific biomarkers for each cancer are identified.

Moffitt Cancer Center researchers identify one way T cell function may fail in cancer
Moffitt Cancer Center researchers have discovered a mechanism by which one type of immune cell, CD8+ T cells, can become dysfunctional, impeding its ability to seek and kill cancer cells.

More cancer survivors, fewer cancer specialists point to challenge in meeting care needs
An aging population, a growing number of cancer survivors, and a projected shortage of cancer care providers will result in a challenge in delivering the care for cancer survivors in the United States if systemic changes are not made.

New cancer vaccine platform a potential tool for efficacious targeted cancer therapy
Researchers at the University of Helsinki have discovered a solution in the form of a cancer vaccine platform for improving the efficacy of oncolytic viruses used in cancer treatment.

American Cancer Society outlines blueprint for cancer control in the 21st century
The American Cancer Society is outlining its vision for cancer control in the decades ahead in a series of articles that forms the basis of a national cancer control plan.

Read More: Cancer News and Cancer Current Events is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to