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Abstract

Volume 14, Issue 3 (May 2012) 14, 409–414; 10.1038/aja.2011.150

The role of BRCA1 and BRCA2 in prostate cancer

Elena Castro1,2 and Rosalind Eeles1,2

1 Oncogenetics Team, The Institute of Cancer Research, Sutton SM2 5NG, UK
2 Academic Urology Unit, The Royal Marsden NH Foundation Trust, London SW3 6JJ, UK

Received 9 February 2012; Accepted 23 February 2012; Advance online publication 23 April 2012

Abstract

One of the strongest risk factors for prostate cancer is a family history of the disease. Germline mutations in the breast cancer predisposition gene 2 (BRCA2) are the genetic events known to date that confer the highest risk of prostate cancer (8.6-fold in men ≤65 years). Although the role of BRCA2 and BRCA1 in prostate tumorigenesis remains unrevealed, deleterious mutations in both genes have been associated with more aggressive disease and poor clinical outcomes. The increasing incidence of prostate cancer worldwide supports the need for new methods to predict outcome and identify patients with potentially lethal forms of the disease. As we present here, BRCA germline mutations, mainly in the BRCA2 gene, are one of those predictive factors. We will also discuss the implications of these mutations in the management of prostate cancer and hypothesize on the potential for the development of strategies for sporadic cases with similar characteristics.

Keywords: Professor R Eeles, (Rosalind.eeles@icr.ac.uk)

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