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New gene faults linked breast cancer
Scientists at the Queensland Institute of Medical Research have discovered nine gene faults that may increase the risk of breast cancer.

This may be the biggest breakthrough in the field of breast cancer genetics since the discovery of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene faults during the 1990’s. The gene faults studied in this recent research are much more common than the BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene faults but the risk of developing breast cancer in women who carry these newly studied faults is much lower than for woman who carry the BRCA gene faults.

Dr Georgia Chenevix-Trench from the Queensland Institute of Medical Research, quoted in The Border newspaper says “We’ve all been looking for a decade for common genes that contribute to breast cancer, and while there has been a thousand claims in the literature, frankly none of them are really convincing.”

“Finally people can now really believe there are common variants for this common disease — we’ve absolutely confirmed it. The chance of women with these common genes developing the cancer was only 10 per cent compared with 60 per cent for the far rarer BRCA genes. So they’re not dramatic in their individual risk but because variants in these genes are quite common in the population, it could account for quite a lot of breast cancer,” she said.

Full details of the research will be published in a high-profile British medical journal later this year.

Last Updated on Thursday, 13 August 2009 19:43