Scientists ID New Breast Cancer Genes

Biggest breakthrough in a decade may advance prevention, treatment
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted May 28, 2007 7:11 AM CDT
In this photo provided by Y-ME, Lake Michigan reflects the pink light atop the John Hancock Building in downtown Chicago, Monday night, May 7, 2007, in anticipation of the Y-ME National Breast Cancer...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Four newly discovered genes can increase a woman's chance of developing breast cancer by as much as 60%, say scientists who hail the isolation of the genes as the biggest advance in the field since 1994. The breakthrough raises hopes for more advanced treatment and even prevention of breast cancer and for better understanding of other cancers in the future.

The research, reported yesterday in the journal Nature, is the most significant breakthrough since the identification of the BRCA1 and 2 genes. It proves that familial patterns of the disease relate directly to a constellation of genes and genetic markers that individually represent only a slightly increased vulnerability; combined, they help account for the breast cancer's strong genetic association.