BRCA Testing Could Help High-Risk Black Women

Statistical model used to predict gene mutation status

TUESDAY, Oct. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Black women who are at high risk of breast cancer due to a family history may benefit from BRCA1 and BRCA2 testing, according to a study in the Oct. 19 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. Regardless of ethnicity, a family history of breast and ovarian cancer, and an early age at diagnosis are the best predictors of BRCA status.

Rita Nanda, M.D., of the University of Chicago Medical Center, and colleagues used a statistical model known as BRCAPRO to predict BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation status in high-risk groups of black, white, Ashkenazi Jewish, Hispanic and Asian families.

Compared with non-Jewish whites, black patients were less likely to have deleterious mutations of the gene (27.9% versus 46.2%) but more likely to have sequence variations (44.2% versus 11.5%). Ashkenazi Jews had the highest rate of deleterious mutations, at 69%.

"These data support the use of BRCAPRO and genetic testing for BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations in the management of high-risk African American families," the authors conclude.

Abstract
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