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Penn's Basser Research Center for BRCA Presents at ASCO 2014

Early this summer, oncologists from around the world gathered to hear cutting-edge scientific presentations showcasing new findings in oncology at the American Society of Clinical Oncology. Investigators from Penn Medicine's Basser Research Center for BRCA presented on a range of topics related to hereditary breast and ovarian cancer.

Multiplex Testing

Katherine L. Nathanson, MD, presented on 'multiplex testing" for hereditary cancer risk. Historically, individuals with family histories of cancer were told about the individual genes that may be at the root the family's history of cancer.

Katherine L Nathanson

For example, a 40-year-old woman with breast cancer whose paternal grandmother also had the disease might be advised to consider BRCA1 and BRCA2 testing. Similarly, a 25-year-old woman with breast cancer might be offered testing for BRCA1 and BRCA2 but also a gene called TP53 associated with much younger breast cancers.

Now, in 2014, multiplex or “panel” testing allows a healthcare provider to offer individuals testing for genes which have a predisposition to cancer all at once. This commercially available test has brought opportunities and challenges to the world of cancer genetics for patients and providers alike. ASCO 2014 highlighted the divergent opinions on the new technology.

Breast Cancer Worry in Teens

Angela Bradbury

Families with BRCA mutations or unrelated histories of breast cancer often wonder how this history can impact their girls as they grow into young adults.

Basser Investigator, Angela Bradbury, MD, has devoted her career to studying these issues and discusses her abstract on worry and behavior among teens at higher risk for breast cancer.

To learn more:

Side Effects of Risk-Reducing Salpingo-Oophorectomy

For women who carry BRCA mutations, in is standard practice to discuss preventative removal of the ovaries and fallopian tubes between ages 35 to 40 or after child-bearing is complete.

These discussions inevitably lead to concerns about the potential impact of the procedure, which is called risk-reducing salpingo-oophorectomy.

To learn more about Susan Domchek MD's research, you can read her interview with MedPage Today or see the Penn Medicine News Release.

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