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March 15, 1995

Testing for BRCA1 in Hereditary Breast Cancer

Author Affiliations

Indiana University School of Medicine Indianapolis

JAMA. 1995;273(11):845-846. doi:10.1001/jama.1995.03520350027019

To the Editor.  —I recently received a lovely and expensive marketing pamphlet from OncorMed of Gaithersburg, Md, announcing the availability of testing for the BRCA1 gene by linkage analysis. This was, to my knowledge, the first commercial advertisement for BRCA1 testing. Before this time, linkage studies have been performed on a research basis at only a few centers in this country. In order to be considered for linkage, families needed to be large with multiple affected living members.I telephoned the sales representative listed in the brochure to inquire about testing. He responded that the scientific board of OncorMed had decided not to offer testing at the present time. I think that OncorMed has falsely advertised its role in testing for familial cancer. However, with the publicity surrounding testing for BRCA1, advertisements like this only increase the demand for testing to assess individual breast cancer risk. Raising this demand while

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