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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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