Breast Cancer Susceptibility
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Genetic factors account for a large fraction of breast cancer risk and it is estimated that up to 30% of breast cancers have a heritable component. Inherited cancer susceptibility is associated with early-onset of malignancies in general. Although 20% of young women with breast cancer have germline mutations in the best understood breast cancer susceptibility genes, BRCA1, BRCA2 and TP53, in the remaining 80% of women with early-onset breast cancer, the genetic factors contributing to disease remain unexplained. By studying the extreme phenotype of women diagnosed at an early age there is enrichment for genetic factors that contribute to breast cancer.
This study contains the whole exome sequence of 384 women diagnosed with invasive breast cancer prior to 40 years of age. Each of the subjects reported a family history of breast cancer and lacked mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2.