AUA: Prostate Cancer Studies Highlight DNA Repair Gene Involvement

Excerpt:

“Two new studies presented at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Urological Association (AUA) offer an improved understanding of some genetic underpinnings of prostate cancer. In one, researchers found that BRCA mutations may raise the risk of the malignancy substantially, while another found a high rate of mutations among other DNA repair genes as well.

” ‘These studies reveal new insights into the role genetic mutations play in the development of prostate cancer, particularly metastatic disease,’ said Scott Eggener, MD, of the University of Chicago Medicine, who moderated the session with these studies, in a press release.”

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Frontline PARP Inhibitor Shrinks Tumors in BRCA-Positive Breast Patients

Excerpt:

“All 13 newly diagnosed breast cancer patients with BRCA mutations had their tumors shrink significantly when treated with a PARP inhibitor ahead of frontline presurgical chemotherapy in a pilot study at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

“Results of the study (abstract 153PD) will be presented Saturday at a breast cancer poster discussion session of the 2016 European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) Congress in Copenhagen.

“Tumor shrinkage after two months of treatment with the PARP inhibitor talazoparib, measured by ultrasound, ranged from 30 to 98 percent with an average reduction in tumor volume of 78 percent among the 13 patients.”

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Waiting for Cancer

Excerpt:

“With cancer, there are generally two scenarios – you either have it or you don’t. But I am somewhere in the middle, stuck inside a vortex. I don’t have cancer, but as a notable breast surgeon told me, ‘For you, it’s not a matter of if you’ll get it, but when.’ And so I find myself on permanent standby… just waiting.

“While many women at risk for cancer opt to have themselves tested for the BRCA gene mutation, which significantly increases one’s risk of developing breast, ovarian and pancreatic cancer, it’s not a test I would have chosen to take, given the absence of cancer in my family.

“My husband was adopted and wanted to learn more about his genetic makeup, so he selected an online genetics test, 23andMe, and out of curiosity, I decided to join him.”

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Study Suggests Men with Metastatic Prostate Cancer Should Be Tested for Inherited Mutations

Excerpt:

“Inherited mutations in DNA-repair genes, such as the BRCA genes, can increase cancer risk. A new study shows that DNA-repair mutations are significantly more common in men with metastatic prostate cancer compared with men whose prostate cancer hasn’t spread. This suggests all men with advanced prostate cancer should be tested for inherited DNA-repair mutations to help select the most effective therapies and provide information on family risk.”

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Black Women Less Likely to Pursue BRCA Testing and Cancer Risk Reduction Measures

Excerpt:

“Findings from a population-based study reported at the 2016 ASCO Annual Meeting revealed that young black women with breast cancer are much less likely to undergo testing for the BRCA gene than other women. Or, if they do carry a BRCA mutation, they are less likely to get a prophylactic mastectomy or salpingo-oophorectomy to reduce the risk of developing cancer.

“The research identified disparities in recipients of BRCA testing between non-Hispanic white women, Hispanic, and black women, with the latter being the least likely to undergo testing. Likewise, black women who were BRCA carriers were less likely to undergo risk-management practices compared with their white and Hispanic counterparts.

“ ‘We need to understand the reasons for these findings,’ said lead study author Tuya Pal, MD, a clinical geneticist at the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida. Ultimately, it’s the patient who must decide whether to have genetic testing and take prophylactic measures for risk management, Pal said.”

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UCSF Center Adds to Revolution of Care for BRCA Carriers

Excerpt:

“A new center at University of California, San Francisco, is designed to provide comprehensive and integrated care for patients with cancer who carry BRCA and other mutations.

“The Center for BRCA Research at UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center joins Basser Center for BRCA in Philadelphia as the only facilities solely devoted to BRCA–related cancers.

“HemOnc Today spoke with Pamela N. Munster, MD, leader of the developmental therapeutics program and co-director of the Center for BRCA Research, about how the center came about, how she became involved, and what she hopes the center will do for BRCA mutation carriers and their families.”

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BRCA Clinics Expand Further Beyond Breast Cancer

“A new clinic in San Francisco is opening with an unusual mission: to provide care for people affected by mutations in two particular genes linked to a high risk of cancer. The move highlights the ways growing knowledge about the genetics of the disease is reshaping care for patients.

“The clinic, at University of California, San Francisco, will treat patients with abnormalities in the genes known as BRCA1 and BRCA2. The mutations are widely recognized as inheritable causes of breast and ovarian cancers.”


Precision Medicine on the Horizon for Prostate Cancer

“While still in its early stages, integrative genomic testing could be the future for personalizing therapy for patients with castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC), according to Tomasz M. Beer, MD, FACP.

“In an interview with Targeted Oncology, Beer, deputy director, Knight Cancer Institute, Oregon Health and Science University, explained that understanding the genetic makeup of CRPC could lead to new treatments, both single-agents and combinations. One of the most recent examples was the discovery of BRCA genetic mutations within CRPC, he said. While BRCA mutations are mostly associated with breast and ovarian cancers, this discovery could provide a new avenue for treating men with CRPC.

“In the interview, Beer discussed the current state of genetic testing for prostate cancer and changes on the horizon that are currently being explored in clinical trials.”


Testing for BRCA Mutations Reaches High Levels Among Young Women With Breast Cancer, Study Finds

“The vast majority of young women with breast cancer are being tested for mutations in the cancer-susceptibility genes BRCA1 and BRCA2, a new study led by Dana-Farber Cancer Institute investigators suggests, and many of them are using the results of those tests to guide their treatment.

“The study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Oncology, provides encouraging evidence that patients are largely following National Comprehensive Cancer Network guidelines that women diagnosed with breast cancer at age 50 or younger undergo genetic testing. At the same time, however, the researchers found that many patients who don’t carry BRCA1 or 2 mutations are choosing to have both breasts removed, even though their risk of cancer in the unaffected breast is no higher than average.”