A role for XRCC2 gene polymorphisms in breast cancer risk and survival

Breast cancer can be caused by inherited changes in two major genes, BRCA1 and BRCA2, which can have devastating consequences, causing several cases of breast cancer in the same family. BRCA1 and BRCA2 code for proteins that are important for the repair of damaged DNA. In this study we have examined the effects of another gene, XRCC2, which is also involved in this same process. Whilst inherited variation in XRCC2 does not dramatically increase a woman’s risk of breast cancer, we have some evidence that it may play a minor role in breast cancer risk and survival, and is worthy of further investigation. Understanding these genes with smaller effects, like XRCC2, may help us design better targetted treatments. (By Dr Angela Cox, http://jmg.bmj.com/content/early/2011/05/31/jmedgenet-2011-100018.abstract?papetoc )

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