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NCI Cancer Center News

Study reveals the genetic variations that raise the risk of breast, prostate or ovarian cancer

  • Posted: March 28, 2013

Over 80 regions of the genome that can increase an individual’s risk of breast, prostate and ovarian cancers have been found in the largest ever study of its kind. The scientists were looking for genetic variations – called single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) – linked to an increased risk of developing cancer. By studying the DNA make-up of over 100,000 people with cancer and 100,000 people from the general population, they found alterations that were more common in people with prostate, breast or ovarian cancers.

Mayo Clinic press release: New DNA sequences hone in on breast, ovarian cancer risk

Mayo Clinic press release: Novel gene drives development of different types of ovarian cancer, Mayo led study finds

Duke University press release: Five genetic variations increase risk of ovarian cancer

Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center press release: New findings may lead to better predictions of breast cancer risk in women with inherited mutations

USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center press release: USC scientists contribute to international research on genetic risks for cancer 


Among the research institutions NCI funds across the United States, it currently designates 67 as Cancer Centers. Largely based in research universities, these facilities are home to many of the NCI-supported scientists who conduct a wide range of intense, laboratory research into cancer’s origins and development. The Cancer Centers Program also focuses on trans-disciplinary research, including population science and clinical research. The centers’ research results are often at the forefront of studies in the cancer field.