New Genetic Mutation Increases The Risk For Ovarian Cancer
A team of researchers from the United Kingdom, discovered a new genetic mutation which is increasing the risk for ovarian cancer. In the general population, 1 in 70 women is diagnosed with ovarian cancer. The newly discovered gene was name RAD51D and its mutation increases the risk to develop ovarian cancer by 1 in 11 chances.
The risk conferred by this mutation is lower than the risk conferred by the mutation of BRCA genes, which were discovered in the 1990s. A women with a BRCA1 mutation had a 5 in 10 chance of developing ovarian cancer, and a woman carrying a BRCA2 mutation has a 2 in 10 chance.
The mutation of BRCA gene also increase the risk for developing breast cancer, but the mutation RAD51D gene was not linked to an increased risk for developing breast cancer, it seems that is increasing only the risk for ovarian cancer. A very important fact of this new gene mutation is that this gene mutation it was found in women who tested negative for BRCA mutations.
Discovery of the mutation of BRCA gene can lead to genetic tests and to surgical interventions like ovary removal (oophorectomy) and breast removal. The discovery of this new it may follow a similar path. The British researchers estimate that a test for the RAD51D mutation will be available in a few years.
The British researchers also showed that the cells with the mutation of RAD51D gene are very sensitive to the treatment with a PARP inhibitor, because 90% of these cells died after the exposure to this medications, compared with only 10% of cells with good functioning RAD51D gene. However, this laboratory finding needs to be first tested in clinical trials.
PARP inhibitors (iniparib and olaparib) were designed to target cancers which are caused by mutation in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes and have already shown some good results in the treatment of breast and ovarian cancer.
This preclinical studies are suggesting that PARP inhibitors are having a favorable impact in women with advanced forms of ovarian cancer or with metastasis, women who are also having this new genetic mutation, and may have a clinical benefit if they are following the administration of this new class of antineoplastic agents.