Faulty BRCA1 gene may lead to breast cancer

Q.  Faulty BRCA1 gene may lead to which of the following?
- Published on 23 Jun 16

a. Colour Blindness
b. Sickle cell anaemia
c. Alzheimer
d. Breast Cancer

ANSWER: Breast Cancer
  • People who carry a faulty BRCA1 gene are at high risk of developing aggressive breast cancer.
  • By pinpointing the cells that give rise to breast cancers in women who have inherited a faulty version of the BRCA1 gene, researchers at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute in Australia identified that the drug denosumab may have potential to prevent breast cancer from developing.
  • Cancer precursor cells in BRCA1-mutant breast tissue had many similarities to aggressive forms of breast cancer. These pre-cancerous cells could be identified by a marker protein called RANK.
  • The discovery of RANK as a marker of cancer precursors was an important breakthrough, because inhibitors of the RANK signalling pathway were already in clinical use.
  • The research team showed that RANK inhibition switched off cell growth in breast tissue from women with a faulty BRCA1 gene and curtailed breast cancer development in laboratory models.
  • This strategy could delay or prevent breast cancer in women with an inherited BRCA1 gene mutation.

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