(Feb. 3, 2015) An international study using data from the OCRF-funded Ovarian Cancer Association Consortium has found six new gene regions which increase a woman’s risk of ovarian cancer. The findings were published this month in Nature Communications.
Previous studies have identified 12 epithelial ovarian cancer susceptibility alleles (an allele is one of two or more alternative forms of a gene that arise by mutation and are found at the same place on a chromosome). In this study looking at data from 70,000 women, the researchers assessed associations of 11 million genetic variants with epithelial ovarian cancer risk and found six additional susceptibility regions, bringing the total to 18.
The variants identified have a less dramatic impact than BRCA1 or BRCA2, and individually they increase the risk of cancer by a much smaller amount. However, if a woman carries a large number of these, her risk of developing ovarian cancer may be high. Incorporating these variants into testing to predict ovarian cancer risk would make any tool developed more precise.
The study of almost 70,000 women drew on data from the Ovarian Cancer Association Consortium (OCAC), which was created through an OCRF Program Project Development grant to Andrew Berchuck, MD, as well as from other research consortia. Dr. Simon Gayther’s work on this project was also supported by OCRF.
Click here to read the abstract.