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February 17, 2013 12:55 pm

Israeli Researchers Develop New Test That Detects Risk of Breast or Ovarian Cancer

avatar by Zach Pontz

Breast cancer awareness ribbon. Photo: Wikipedia.

Israeli researchers have developed a test that can predict if healthy women are at a significant risk of developing breast or ovarian cancer. Using a blood test, the researchers from Hadassah Medical Center were able to identify the presence of a harmful mutation, which may trigger those types of cancers in women.

The test, which was developed using a technology called gene expression profiling, is able to predict the presence of harmful BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations in otherwise healthy women.

“This novel technology aims to provide a layer of information regarding the cell functionality aspect of BRCA mutations that could greatly enhance the doctor’s ability to identify high-risk carriers,” explains Dr. Asher Salmon, who led the research team.

The new test will require less resources. Until the present the only means of detecting such mutations was by doing a full gene sequencing, but Dr. Salmon said the process is “expensive, time consuming and, in many cases, lacks clear and decisive information for making a clinical decision.”

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According to Salmon, the test can reveal many different types of harmful mutations. “In societies where gene sequencing is not feasible, this test can substitute for it with a very high accuracy rate,” Salmon explains.

The Israeli research team reported their findings in Cancer Prevention Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

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