Women with ovarian cancer may carry mutations in genes associated with ovarian cancer risk beyond BRCA1 and BRCA2, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Society.1

Paul DiSilvestro, MD, of the Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island in Providence and fellow researchers looked at more than 1900 women with ovarian cancer through the University of Washington gynecologic tissue bank as well as from various Gynecologic Oncology Group clinical trials in order to identify genetic mutations that can put women at risk.

“Descriptions of the identity of these genes and their frequency was lacking in the medical literature,” Dr DiSilvestro said. “The goal of this research was to better define these issues.”

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The researchers found that 18% of women with ovarian cancer carried mutations in genes that were associated with ovarian cancer risk beyond the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes.

“The results of this trial expanded our knowledge of the genes that we suspect cause hereditary ovarian cancer, bringing the total to 11,” Dr DiSilvestro concluded.

He urged that genetic testing “should now begin screening for these 9 additional genetic mutations so women carrying the genes can make educated decisions about their health care future.”


1.    1. Research uncovers more inherited genetic mutations linked to ovarian cancer [news release]. Women & Infants Hospital. Care New England; February 10, 2016. http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2016-02/cne-rum021016.php. Accessed February 11, 2016.