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Posted by Target Ovarian Cancer on Tuesday 19 January 2016

Findings have today been reported that show an increase in risk of ovarian cancer for women carrying a mutation in their BRIP1 (FANCJ) gene. This is different from the more well-recognised mutations in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes.

Target Ovarian Cancer’s Director of Research, Dr Simon Newman, said: “Today’s news increases our understanding of how some cancers can run in families. Whilst many (13 per cent) ovarian cancer cases are linked to mutations in either BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes being passed down through the generations, not all cases of familial ovarian cancer are related to these two genes. Today’s report estimates that two women for every 2000 carry a mutation in their BRIP1 (FANCJ) gene which increases their risk of ovarian cancer from approximately two per cent to 6 per cent. This is a significant finding to help further explain familial ovarian cancer - but it should be noted that both the prevalence (how many people have mutations in their BRIP1 [FANCJ] gene) and increased risk of ovarian cancer are significantly lower than mutations in BRCA genes.

“It is thought around 5-10 women for every 2000 carry a mutation in either their BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes which can increase their risk of ovarian cancer by age of 70 from approximately two per cent to 39-49 per cent (BRCA1 mutation) and 11-18 per cent (BRCA2 mutation).”

There is currently no routine test accessible to patients to check for mutations in the BRIP1 (FANCJ) gene, but Target Ovarian Cancer would like to see the feasibility and utility of such a test looked into imminently, as every factor that could contribute to prevention, an earlier diagnosis or more successful treatment of ovarian cancer is essential.

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