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The World in Medicine
May 18, 2005

Targeting Breast Cancer

JAMA. 2005;293(19):2333. doi:10.1001/jama.293.19.2333-b

Inhibiting an enzyme involved in DNA repair shows promise as a strategy for preventing and treating some forms of breast cancers, according to two new studies by researchers from England and Sweden (Bryant et al. Nature. 2005;434:913-917 and Farmer et al. Nature. 2005;434:917-921).

Up to 5% to 10% of breast cancer in women is attributable to mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2. These genes encode enzymes that are involved in repairing damaged DNA. In breast tissue, mutations in these genes cause the cells to become cancerous.