Gene Summary

Gene:BLID; BH3-like motif containing, cell death inducer
Aliases: BRCC2
Summary:This gene encodes a BH3-like motif containing protein involved in cell death. The encoded protein may induce apoptosis in a caspase-dependent manner. The protein is localized in both the cytoplasm and the mitochondrion. [provided by RefSeq, Aug 2011]
Databases:OMIM, VEGA, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:BH3-like motif-containing cell death inducer
Source:NCBIAccessed: 27 February, 2015


What does this gene/protein do?
BLID is implicated in:
- apoptotic process
- mitochondrion
Data from Gene Ontology via CGAP

Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1990-2015)
Graph generated 27 February 2015 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

Mouse over the terms for more detail; many indicate links which you can click for dedicated pages about the topic.

  • p53 Protein
  • Cancer DNA
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • BRCA2
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • DNA Mutational Analysis
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Apoptosis Regulatory Proteins
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Heterozygote Detection
  • Single Nucleotide Polymorphism
  • Chromosome 11
  • Ovariectomy
  • Genetic Counseling
  • RB1
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Age Factors
  • Breast Cancer
  • Mastectomy
  • Age of Onset
  • Pedigree
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • DNA Damage
  • Exons
  • DNA Repair
  • BRCA1 Protein
  • Genetic Testing
  • Genetic Predisposition
  • Risk Factors
  • Missense Mutation
  • Mutation
  • Heterozygote
  • Germ-Line Mutation
  • Ovarian Cancer
  • BRCA2 Protein
  • Genotype
  • Survival Rate
  • Staging
  • BRCA1
  • Young Adult
Tag cloud generated 27 February, 2015 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (2)

Data table showing topics related to specific cancers and associated disorders. Scope includes mutations and abnormal protein expression.

Note: list is not exhaustive. Number of papers are based on searches of PubMed (click on topic title for arbitrary criteria used).

Latest Publications: BLID (cancer-related)

Cornejo-Moreno BA, Uribe-Escamilla D, Salamanca-Gómez F
Breast cancer genes: looking for BRACA's lost brother.
Isr Med Assoc J. 2014; 16(12):787-92 [PubMed] Related Publications
Breast cancer, specifically mammary carcinoma, is the most common cause of death from cancer in women worldwide, with a lifetime risk of one in nine, and its prevalence is increasing. It represents around 30% of all cancer in females and approximately 40,000 deaths in the United States per year. Important advances have been made in detection and treatment, but a significant number of breast cancers are still detected late. This summary of its epidemiology and history, the molecular aspects of detection and the main implicated genes emphasizes the etiology and heterogeneity of the disease. It is still not clear whether the remaining cases of breast cancer negative to BRCA are due to mutations in another high penetrance gene or to unknown factors yet to be discovered.

Economopoulou P, Dimitriadis G, Psyrri A
Beyond BRCA: new hereditary breast cancer susceptibility genes.
Cancer Treat Rev. 2015; 41(1):1-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
Approximately 5-10% of breast cancer cases might be inheritable, up to 30% of which are due to BRCA1/2 mutations. During the past few years and thanks to technology evolution, we have been witnesses of an intensive search of additional genes with similar characteristics, under the premise that successful gene discovery will provide substantial opportunities for primary and secondary prevention of breast cancer. Consequently, new genes have emerged as breast cancer susceptibility genes, including rare germline mutations in high penetrant genes, such as TP53 and PTEN, and more frequent mutations in moderate penetrant genes, such as CHEK2, ATM and PALB2. This review will summarize current data on new findings in breast cancer susceptibility genes.

Ottini L
Male breast cancer: a rare disease that might uncover underlying pathways of breast cancer.
Nat Rev Cancer. 2014; 14(10):643 [PubMed] Related Publications
There are similarities between breast cancers that arise in men and women but there are also differences. What can be learned from male breast cancer to gain insight into breast cancer pathogenesis?

Kinney AY, Butler KM, Schwartz MD, et al.
Expanding access to BRCA1/2 genetic counseling with telephone delivery: a cluster randomized trial.
J Natl Cancer Inst. 2014; 106(12) [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The growing demand for cancer genetic services underscores the need to consider approaches that enhance access and efficiency of genetic counseling. Telephone delivery of cancer genetic services may improve access to these services for individuals experiencing geographic (rural areas) and structural (travel time, transportation, childcare) barriers to access.
METHODS: This cluster-randomized clinical trial used population-based sampling of women at risk for BRCA1/2 mutations to compare telephone and in-person counseling for: 1) equivalency of testing uptake and 2) noninferiority of changes in psychosocial measures. Women 25 to 74 years of age with personal or family histories of breast or ovarian cancer and who were able to travel to one of 14 outreach clinics were invited to participate. Randomization was by family. Assessments were conducted at baseline one week after pretest and post-test counseling and at six months. Of the 988 women randomly assigned, 901 completed a follow-up assessment. Cluster bootstrap methods were used to estimate the 95% confidence interval (CI) for the difference between test uptake proportions, using a 10% equivalency margin. Differences in psychosocial outcomes for determining noninferiority were estimated using linear models together with one-sided 97.5% bootstrap CIs.
RESULTS: Uptake of BRCA1/2 testing was lower following telephone (21.8%) than in-person counseling (31.8%, difference = 10.2%, 95% CI = 3.9% to 16.3%; after imputation of missing data: difference = 9.2%, 95% CI = -0.1% to 24.6%). Telephone counseling fulfilled the criteria for noninferiority to in-person counseling for all measures.
CONCLUSIONS: BRCA1/2 telephone counseling, although leading to lower testing uptake, appears to be safe and as effective as in-person counseling with regard to minimizing adverse psychological reactions, promoting informed decision making, and delivering patient-centered communication for both rural and urban women.

Freund R, Kelsberg G, Safranek S
Clinical Inquiry: do oral contraceptives put women with a family history of breast cancer at increased risk?
J Fam Pract. 2014; 63(9):540, 549 [PubMed] Related Publications
A systematic review of the effect of combined OCPs on women with a family history of breast cancer found no additional increase in risk. Investigators identified 3 retrospective cohort studies (N=66,500, with 8500 cases) and 7 case-control studies (total 10,500 cases) from the past 40 years, most including women from the United States and Canada, but one including women from 5 continents.

Sherman ME, Piedmonte M, Mai PL, et al.
Pathologic findings at risk-reducing salpingo-oophorectomy: primary results from Gynecologic Oncology Group Trial GOG-0199.
J Clin Oncol. 2014; 32(29):3275-83 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 10/10/2015 Related Publications
PURPOSE: Risk-reducing salpingo-oophorectomy (RRSO) lowers mortality from ovarian/tubal and breast cancers among BRCA1/2 mutation carriers. Uncertainties persist regarding potential benefits of RRSO among high-risk noncarriers, optimal surgical age, and anatomic origin of clinically occult cancers detected at surgery. To address these topics, we analyzed surgical treatment arm results from Gynecologic Oncology Group Protocol-0199 (GOG-0199), the National Ovarian Cancer Prevention and Early Detection Study.
PARTICIPANTS AND METHODS: This analysis included asymptomatic high-risk women age ≥ 30 years who elected RRSO at enrollment. Women provided risk factor data and underwent preoperative cancer antigen 125 (CA-125) serum testing and transvaginal ultrasound (TVU). RRSO specimens were processed according to a standardized tissue processing protocol and underwent central pathology panel review. Research-based BRCA1/2 mutation testing was performed when a participant's mutation status was unknown at enrollment. Relationships between participant characteristics and diagnostic findings were assessed using univariable statistics and multivariable logistic regression.
RESULTS: Invasive or intraepithelial ovarian/tubal/peritoneal neoplasms were detected in 25 (2.6%) of 966 RRSOs (BRCA1 mutation carriers, 4.6%; BRCA2 carriers, 3.5%; and noncarriers, 0.5%; P < .001). In multivariable models, positive BRCA1/2 mutation status (P = .0056), postmenopausal status (P = .0023), and abnormal CA-125 levels and/or TVU examinations (P < .001) were associated with detection of clinically occult neoplasms at RRSO. For 387 women with negative BRCA1/2 mutation testing and normal CA-125 levels, findings at RRSO were benign.
CONCLUSION: Clinically occult cancer was detected among 2.6% of high-risk women undergoing RRSO. BRCA1/2 mutation, postmenopausal status, and abnormal preoperative CA-125 and/or TVU were associated with cancer detection at RRSO. These data can inform management decisions among women at high risk of ovarian/tubal cancer.

Rybchenko LA, Bychkova AM, Skyban GV, Klymenko SV
Prognosis of probability of BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations carriage in women with compromised family history of breast and/or ovarian cancer.
Probl Radiac Med Radiobiol. 2013; (18):253-60 [PubMed] Related Publications
UNLABELLED: Burdened family history of breast and/or ovarian cancer may indicate the mutations carriage in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes.
OBJECTIVE: Estimation and compare of the Manchester Scoring system, Penn II and Myriad algorithm in an ability to distinguish the cases with BRCA1/2 mutation those and no mutant alleles at the individual level among the Ukrainian women with early onset of a breast cancer and/or compromised family history with breast cancer and/or ovarian cancer.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Results of genealogy, molecular genetic and morphological study from 44 females with breast cancer, with early development of the disease or family history of a breast cancer and/or ovarian cancer were the material of research. Determination of carriers BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations among women was performed by Manchester Scoring system and Penn II and Myriad algorithm.
RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS: Manchester Scoring system has better capacity to distinguish patients with and without mutant alleles at the individual level. The area under the curve of Manchester Scoring system is 0.84, Penn II - 0.66, Myriad - 0.68.

Tung N, Battelli C, Allen B, et al.
Frequency of mutations in individuals with breast cancer referred for BRCA1 and BRCA2 testing using next-generation sequencing with a 25-gene panel.
Cancer. 2015; 121(1):25-33 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Next-generation sequencing (NGS) allows for simultaneous sequencing of multiple cancer susceptibility genes and, for an individual, may be more efficient and less expensive than sequential testing. The authors assessed the frequency of deleterious germline mutations among individuals with breast cancer who were referred for BRCA1 and BRCA2 (BRCA1/2) gene testing using a panel of 25 genes associated with inherited cancer predisposition.
METHODS: This was a cross-sectional study using NGS in 2158 individuals, including 1781 who were referred for commercial BRCA1/2 gene testing (cohort 1) and 377 who had detailed personal and family history and had previously tested negative for BRCA1/2 mutations (cohort 2).
RESULTS: Mutations were identified in 16 genes, most frequently in BRCA1, BRCA2, CHEK2, ATM, and PALB2. Among the participants in cohort 1, 9.3% carried a BRCA1/2 mutation, 3.9% carried a mutation in another breast/ovarian cancer susceptibility gene, and 0.3% carried an incidental mutation in another cancer susceptibility gene unrelated to breast or ovarian cancer. In cohort 2, the frequency of mutations in breast/ovarian-associated genes other than BRCA1/2 was 2.9%, and an additional 0.8% had an incidental mutation. In cohort 1, Lynch syndrome-related mutations were identified in 7 individuals. In contrast to BRCA1/2 mutations, neither age at breast cancer diagnosis nor family history of ovarian or young breast cancer predicted for other mutations. The frequency of mutations in genes other than BRCA1/2 was lower in Ashkenazi Jews compared with non-Ashkenazi individuals (P=.026).
CONCLUSIONS: Using an NGS 25-gene panel, the frequency of mutations in genes other than BRCA1/2 was 4.3%, and most mutations (3.9%) were identified in genes associated with breast/ovarian cancer.

Maier C, Herkommer K, Luedeke M, et al.
Subgroups of familial and aggressive prostate cancer with considerable frequencies of BRCA2 mutations.
Prostate. 2014; 74(14):1444-51 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: One of the known risk factors for prostate cancer (PrCa) is germline mutations in the BRCA2 gene. Previous searches for clinical characteristics which could identify a subgroup of patients enriched for mutation carriers revealed early onset and aggressive PrCa as useful parameters, but they are rather unspecific.
METHODS: Identification of BRCA2 mutation carriers by sequencing all exons of BRCA2 in a German cohort of 382 familial PrCa cases and of 92 sporadic PrCa cases with early onset (≤60 years). To define a subgroup of PrCa patients enriched for BRCA2 mutation carriers, we used clinical parameters including a detailed family history (FH) for PrCa and breast cancer.
RESULTS: Five BRCA2 mutations and ten variants of unknown significance (VUS) were identified. While the VUS were evenly distributed among the groups, mutation carriers were lacking from the sporadic cases and over represented among familial cases with aggressive disease. High prostate specific antigen (PSA) at diagnosis (>20 ng/ml) was the only criterion with significant enrichment of mutation carriers (6.4%, P = 0.0005). In men with aggressive disease, death from PrCa (6.3% including FH of lethal PrCa; P = 0.05) and FH of both prostate and breast cancer (4.8%; P = 0.3) increased the frequency of mutation carriers. Larger studies and/or meta-analyses are needed to validate these parameters.
CONCLUSIONS: We have identified three potentially useful criteria, high PSA, death from PrCa (patient or FH), and aggressive PrCa in combination with FH of breast and prostate cancer. If confirmed, they may become useful for the decision which patients may benefit from BRCA2 testing.

Antoniou AC, Casadei S, Heikkinen T, et al.
Breast-cancer risk in families with mutations in PALB2.
N Engl J Med. 2014; 371(6):497-506 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 10/10/2015 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Germline loss-of-function mutations in PALB2 are known to confer a predisposition to breast cancer. However, the lifetime risk of breast cancer that is conferred by such mutations remains unknown.
METHODS: We analyzed the risk of breast cancer among 362 members of 154 families who had deleterious truncating, splice, or deletion mutations in PALB2. The age-specific breast-cancer risk for mutation carriers was estimated with the use of a modified segregation-analysis approach that allowed for the effects of PALB2 genotype and residual familial aggregation.
RESULTS: The risk of breast cancer for female PALB2 mutation carriers, as compared with the general population, was eight to nine times as high among those younger than 40 years of age, six to eight times as high among those 40 to 60 years of age, and five times as high among those older than 60 years of age. The estimated cumulative risk of breast cancer among female mutation carriers was 14% (95% confidence interval [CI], 9 to 20) by 50 years of age and 35% (95% CI, 26 to 46) by 70 years of age. Breast-cancer risk was also significantly influenced by birth cohort (P<0.001) and by other familial factors (P=0.04). The absolute breast-cancer risk for PALB2 female mutation carriers by 70 years of age ranged from 33% (95% CI, 25 to 44) for those with no family history of breast cancer to 58% (95% CI, 50 to 66) for those with two or more first-degree relatives with breast cancer at 50 years of age.
CONCLUSIONS: Loss-of-function mutations in PALB2 are an important cause of hereditary breast cancer, with respect both to the frequency of cancer-predisposing mutations and to the risk associated with them. Our data suggest the breast-cancer risk for PALB2 mutation carriers may overlap with that for BRCA2 mutation carriers. (Funded by the European Research Council and others.).

Janavičius R, Rudaitis V, Mickys U, et al.
Comprehensive BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutational profile in Lithuania.
Cancer Genet. 2014; 207(5):195-205 [PubMed] Related Publications
There is limited knowledge about the BRCA1/2 mutational profile in Lithuania. We aimed to define the full BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutational spectrum and the clinically relevant prevalence of these gene mutations in Lithuania. A data set of 753 unrelated probands, recruited through a clinical setting, was used and consisted of 380 female breast cancer cases, 213 epithelial ovarian cancer cases, 20 breast and ovarian cancer cases, and 140 probands with positive family history of breast or ovarian cancer. A comprehensive mutation analysis of the BRCA1/2 genes by high resolution melting analysis coupled with Sanger sequencing and multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification analysis was performed. Genetic analysis revealed 32 different pathogenic germline BRCA1/2 mutations: 20 in the BRCA1 gene and 12 in the BRCA2 gene, including four different large genomic rearrangements in the BRCA1 gene. In all, 10 novel BRCA1/2 mutations were found. Nine different recurrent BRCA1 mutations and two recurrent BRCA2 mutations were identified, which comprised 90.4% of all BRCA1/2 mutations. BRCA1 exon 1-3 deletion and BRCA2 c.658_659del are reported for the first time as recurrent mutations, pointing to a possible Baltic founder effect. Approximately 7% of breast cancer and 22% of ovarian cancer patients without family history and an estimated 0.5-0.6% of all Lithuanian women were found to be carriers of mutations in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene.

Xu H, Xian J, Vire E, et al.
Up-regulation of the interferon-related genes in BRCA2 knockout epithelial cells.
J Pathol. 2014; 234(3):386-97 [PubMed] Related Publications
BRCA2 mutations are significantly associated with early-onset breast cancer, and the tumour-suppressing function of BRCA2 has been attributed to its involvement in homologous recombination (HR)-mediated DNA repair. In order to identify additional functions of BRCA2, we generated BRCA2-knockout HCT116 human colorectal carcinoma cells. Using genome-wide microarray analyses, we have discovered a link between the loss of BRCA2 and the up-regulation of a subset of interferon (IFN)-related genes, including APOBEC3F and APOBEC3G. The over-expression of IFN-related genes was confirmed in different human BRCA2(-/-) and mouse Brca2(-/-) tumour cell lines, and was independent of senescence and apoptosis. In isogenic wild-type BRCA2 cells, we observed over-expression of IFN-related genes after treatment with DNA-damaging agents, and following ionizing radiation. Cells with endogenous DNA damage because of defective BRCA1 or RAD51 also exhibited over-expression of IFN-related genes. Transcriptional activity of the IFN-stimulated response element (ISRE) was increased in BRCA2 knockout cells, and the expression of BRCA2 greatly decreased IFNα-stimulated ISRE reporter activity, suggesting that BRCA2 directly represses the expression of IFN-related genes through the ISRE. Finally, the colony-forming capacity of BRCA2 knockout cells was significantly reduced in the presence of either IFNβ or IFNγ, suggesting that IFNs may have potential as therapeutic agents in cancer cells with BRCA2 mutations. The GEO Accession No. for microarray analysis is GSE54830.

Cass I, Walts AE, Barbuto D, et al.
A cautious view of putative precursors of serous carcinomas in the fallopian tubes of BRCA mutation carriers.
Gynecol Oncol. 2014; 134(3):492-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: To compare the frequency and distribution of candidate precursors of serous carcinoma in the fallopian tubes of BRCA mutation carriers to BRCA non-mutation carriers (controls) at risk-reducing bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy (RRSO).
METHODS: 78 BRCA carriers (52 BRCA1, 26 BRCA2) and 23 controls underwent RRSO. Fallopian tubes were serially cross-sectioned, and adnexa were entirely submitted and examined by two gynecologic pathologists blinded to BRCA mutation status. The presence and location of serous tubal intraepithelial carcinoma (STIC), p53 overexpression (≥ 6 consecutively stained nuclei), Ki67 overexpression, atypia/low grade dysplasia and epithelial hyperplasia were compared between BRCA carriers and controls. Patient age was dichotomized: ≤ 50 and >50 years.
RESULTS: 9 (12%) BRCA carriers had occult carcinoma: 8 STIC and 1 stage IC tubal carcinoma with STIC. No occult carcinomas or STIC was seen in controls. STIC involved the distal tube in all cases and was multifocal in three cases. STIC was more common in women >50 (p=0.06). P53 overexpression was common in BRCA carriers (30%) and controls (43%) (p=0.5) and did not correlate with age. Only 5/9 (55%) of STIC exhibited p53 overexpression. 2 patients had Ki67 overexpression: both BRCA1 carriers with STIC. No difference in the frequency of atypia/low grade dysplasia or hyperplasia was observed between BRCA carriers and controls.
CONCLUSIONS: STIC is the dominant precursor of serous fallopian tube carcinoma in BRCA carriers. There is insufficient evidence to support p53 overexpression alone as a putative precursor. Atypia/low grade dysplasia and epithelial hyperplasia are not pre-neoplastic lesions of serous fallopian tube carcinoma.

Lou DI, McBee RM, Le UQ, et al.
Rapid evolution of BRCA1 and BRCA2 in humans and other primates.
BMC Evol Biol. 2014; 14:155 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 10/10/2015 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The maintenance of chromosomal integrity is an essential task of every living organism and cellular repair mechanisms exist to guard against insults to DNA. Given the importance of this process, it is expected that DNA repair proteins would be evolutionarily conserved, exhibiting very minimal sequence change over time. However, BRCA1, an essential gene involved in DNA repair, has been reported to be evolving rapidly despite the fact that many protein-altering mutations within this gene convey a significantly elevated risk for breast and ovarian cancers.
RESULTS: To obtain a deeper understanding of the evolutionary trajectory of BRCA1, we analyzed complete BRCA1 gene sequences from 23 primate species. We show that specific amino acid sites have experienced repeated selection for amino acid replacement over primate evolution. This selection has been focused specifically on humans and our closest living relatives, chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) and bonobos (Pan paniscus). After examining BRCA1 polymorphisms in 7 bonobo, 44 chimpanzee, and 44 rhesus macaque (Macaca mulatta) individuals, we find considerable variation within each of these species and evidence for recent selection in chimpanzee populations. Finally, we also sequenced and analyzed BRCA2 from 24 primate species and find that this gene has also evolved under positive selection.
CONCLUSIONS: While mutations leading to truncated forms of BRCA1 are clearly linked to cancer phenotypes in humans, there is also an underlying selective pressure in favor of amino acid-altering substitutions in this gene. A hypothesis where viruses are the drivers of this natural selection is discussed.

Brohl AS, Solomon DA, Chang W, et al.
The genomic landscape of the Ewing Sarcoma family of tumors reveals recurrent STAG2 mutation.
PLoS Genet. 2014; 10(7):e1004475 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 10/10/2015 Related Publications
The Ewing sarcoma family of tumors (EFT) is a group of highly malignant small round blue cell tumors occurring in children and young adults. We report here the largest genomic survey to date of 101 EFT (65 tumors and 36 cell lines). Using a combination of whole genome sequencing and targeted sequencing approaches, we discover that EFT has a very low mutational burden (0.15 mutations/Mb) but frequent deleterious mutations in the cohesin complex subunit STAG2 (21.5% tumors, 44.4% cell lines), homozygous deletion of CDKN2A (13.8% and 50%) and mutations of TP53 (6.2% and 71.9%). We additionally note an increased prevalence of the BRCA2 K3326X polymorphism in EFT patient samples (7.3%) compared to population data (OR 7.1, p = 0.006). Using whole transcriptome sequencing, we find that 11% of tumors pathologically diagnosed as EFT lack a typical EWSR1 fusion oncogene and that these tumors do not have a characteristic Ewing sarcoma gene expression signature. We identify samples harboring novel fusion genes including FUS-NCATc2 and CIC-FOXO4 that may represent distinct small round blue cell tumor variants. In an independent EFT tissue microarray cohort, we show that STAG2 loss as detected by immunohistochemistry may be associated with more advanced disease (p = 0.15) and a modest decrease in overall survival (p = 0.10). These results significantly advance our understanding of the genomic and molecular underpinnings of Ewing sarcoma and provide a foundation towards further efforts to improve diagnosis, prognosis, and precision therapeutics testing.

Park JY, Zhang F, Andreassen PR
PALB2: the hub of a network of tumor suppressors involved in DNA damage responses.
Biochim Biophys Acta. 2014; 1846(1):263-75 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/08/2015 Related Publications
PALB2 was first identified as a partner of BRCA2 that mediates its recruitment to sites of DNA damage. PALB2 was subsequently found as a tumor suppressor gene. Inherited heterozygosity for this gene is associated with an increased risk of cancer of the breast and other sites. Additionally, biallelic mutation of PALB2 is linked to Fanconi anemia, which also has an increased risk of developing malignant disease. Recent work has identified numerous interactions of PALB2, suggesting that it functions in a network of proteins encoded by tumor suppressors. Notably, many of these tumor suppressors are related to the cellular response to DNA damage. The recruitment of PALB2 to DNA double-strand breaks at the head of this network is via a ubiquitin-dependent signaling pathway that involves the RAP80, Abraxas and BRCA1 tumor suppressors. Next, PALB2 interacts with BRCA2, which is a tumor suppressor, and with the RAD51 recombinase. These interactions promote DNA repair by homologous recombination (HR). More recently, PALB2 has been found to bind the RAD51 paralog, RAD51C, as well as the translesion polymerase pol η, both of which are tumor suppressors with functions in HR. Further, an interaction with MRG15, which is related to chromatin regulation, may facilitate DNA repair in damaged chromatin. Finally, PALB2 interacts with KEAP1, a regulator of the response to oxidative stress. The PALB2 network appears to mediate the maintenance of genome stability, may explain the association of many of the corresponding genes with similar spectra of tumors, and could present novel therapeutic opportunities.

Safra T, Grisaru D, Inbar M, et al.
Cytoreduction surgery with hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy in recurrent ovarian cancer improves progression-free survival, especially in BRCA-positive patients- a case-control study.
J Surg Oncol. 2014; 110(6):661-5 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Approximately 70% of women diagnosed with advanced-stage ovarian cancer experience disease recurrence. Survival data were compared between a group of recurrent epithelial ovarian cancer (rEOC) patients treated by cytoreduction and hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) and a matched group of rEOC patients treated by systemic chemotherapy only (without surgery). Treatment outcome in relation to the patients' BRCA status was compared.
METHODS: Twenty-seven rEOC patients treated by cytoreduction and HIPEC were selected from our database and matched (1:3) with 84 rEOC patients treated with chemotherapy only. Progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) in the two groups were analyzed and compared.
RESULTS: The estimated median PFS was 15 months in the HIPEC group and 6 months in the systemic chemotherapy group (P = 0.001). The median OS following HIPEC treatment has not been reached, since more than 70% of the women were alive at the time of analysis. The 5-year survival rate was significantly higher in the HIPEC treated patients compared to that of the controls (79% vs. 45%, P = 0.016). BRCA status did not affect PFS.
CONCLUSIONS: HIPEC after surgical cytoreduction in patients with rEOC appears beneficial compared to systemic chemotherapy treatment alone. The benefit is even greater in BRCA mutation carriers.

Li YT, Ni D, Yang L, et al.
The prevalence of BRCA1/2 mutations of triple-negative breast cancer patients in Xinjiang multiple ethnic region of China.
Eur J Med Res. 2014; 19:35 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/08/2015 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The screening of BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations is now an established component of risk evaluation and management of familial breast cancer, early-onset breast cancer and bilateral breast cancer patients. There is still some controversy about whether this screening should be done in triple-negative breast cancers. Therefore, we evaluated the BRCA mutation prevalence in patients with triple-negative breast cancer in a multi-ethnic region of China.
METHODS: A total 96 women who were diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer in the Xinjiang region of China were enrolled in this study. BRCA1 and BRCA2 screening was performed by polymerase chain reaction-denaturing high-performance liquid chromatography (PCR-DHPLC) sequencing analysis. All mutations were confirmed with direct sequencing.
RESULTS: The prevalence of a BRCA1/2 germline mutation was about 25% (24/96) in the Xinjiang region of China. Among 35 selected cases with a family history and/or bilateral breast cancers, the BRCA1/2 mutation prevalence was 25.7% (9/35). Of the remaining 61 patients with unselected triple-negative breast cancer, the BRCA1/2 mutation prevalence was 24.6% (15/61), and all 15 individuals with these mutations were premenopausal patients.
CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that premenopausal women with triple-negative breast cancer may be candidates for genetic testing for BRCA1/2 in the Xinjiang region of China, even in the absence of a family history or bilateral breast cancer.

Feilotter HE, Michel C, Uy P, et al.
BRCA1 haploinsufficiency leads to altered expression of genes involved in cellular proliferation and development.
PLoS One. 2014; 9(6):e100068 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/08/2015 Related Publications
The assessment of BRCA1 and BRCA2 coding sequences to identify pathogenic mutations associated with inherited breast/ovarian cancer syndrome has provided a method to identify high-risk individuals, allowing them to seek preventative treatments and strategies. However, the current test is expensive, and cannot differentiate between pathogenic variants and those that may be benign. Focusing only on one of the two BRCA partners, we have developed a biological assay for haploinsufficiency of BRCA1. Using a series of EBV-transformed cell lines, we explored gene expression patterns in cells that were BRCA1 wildtype compared to those that carried (heterozygous) BRCA1 pathogenic mutations. We identified a subset of 43 genes whose combined expression pattern is a sensitive predictor of BRCA1 status. The gene set was disproportionately made up of genes involved in cellular differentiation, lending credence to the hypothesis that single copy loss of BRCA1 function may impact differentiation, rendering cells more susceptible to undergoing malignant processes.

Heemskerk-Gerritsen BA, Rookus MA, Aalfs CM, et al.
Improved overall survival after contralateral risk-reducing mastectomy in BRCA1/2 mutation carriers with a history of unilateral breast cancer: a prospective analysis.
Int J Cancer. 2015; 136(3):668-77 [PubMed] Related Publications
Data on survival of BRCA1/2-associated primary breast cancer (PBC) patients who opt for subsequent contralateral risk-reducing mastectomy (CRRM) are scarce and inconsistent. We examined the efficacy of CRRM on overall survival in mutation carriers with a history of PBC. From a Dutch multicentre cohort, we selected 583 BRCA-associated PBC patients, being diagnosed between 1980 and 2011. Over time, 242 patients (42%) underwent CRRM and 341 patients (58%) remained under surveillance. Survival analyses were performed using Cox models, with CRRM as a time-dependent covariate. The median follow-up after PBC diagnosis was 11.4 years. In the CRRM group, four patients developed contralateral breast cancer (2%), against 64 patients (19%) in the surveillance group (p < 0.001). The mortality was lower in the CRRM group than in the surveillance group (9.6 and 21.6 per 1000 person-years of observation, respectively; adjusted hazard ratio 0.49, 95% confidence interval 0.29-0.82). Survival benefit was especially seen in young PBC patients (<40 years), in patients having a PBC with differentiation grade 1/2 and/or no triple-negative phenotype, and in patients not treated with adjuvant chemotherapy. We conclude that CRRM is associated with improved overall survival in BRCA1/2 mutation carriers with a history of PBC. Further research is warranted to develop a model based on age at diagnosis and tumour and treatment characteristics that can predict survival benefit for specific subgroups of patients, aiming at further personalized counselling and improved decision making.

Yadav DS, Chattopadhyay I, Verma A, et al.
A pilot study evaluating genetic alterations that drive tobacco- and betel quid-associated oral cancer in Northeast India.
Tumour Biol. 2014; 35(9):9317-30 [PubMed] Related Publications
The susceptibility of an individual to oral cancer is mediated by genetic factors and carcinogen-exposure behaviors such as betel quid chewing, tobacco use, and alcohol consumption. This pilot study was aimed to identify the genetic alteration in 100 bp upstream and downstream flanking regions in addition to the exonic regions of 169 cancer-associated genes by using Next Generation sequencing with aim to elucidate the molecular pathogenesis of tobacco- and betel quid-associated oral cancer of Northeast India. To understand the role of chemical compounds present in tobacco and betel quid associated with the progression of oral cancer, single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and insertion and deletion (Indels) found in this study were analyzed for their association with chemical compounds found in tobacco and betel quid using Comparative Toxogenomic Database. Genes (AR, BRCA1, IL8, and TP53) with novel SNP were found to be associated with arecoline which is the major component of areca nut. Genes (BARD1, BRCA2, CCND2, IGF1R, MSH6, and RASSF1) with novel deletion and genes (APC, BRMS1, CDK2AP1, CDKN2B, GAS1, IGF1R, and RB1) with novel insertion were found to be associated with aflatoxin B1 which is produced by fermented areca nut. Genes (ADH6, APC, AR, BARD1, BRMS1, CDKN1A, E2F1, FGFR4, FLNC, HRAS, IGF1R, IL12B, IL8, NBL1, STAT5B, and TP53) with novel SNP were found to be associated with aflatoxin B1. Genes (ATM, BRCA1, CDKN1A, EGFR, IL8, and TP53) with novel SNP were found to be associated with tobacco specific nitrosamines.

Tanic M, Yanowski K, Gómez-López G, et al.
MicroRNA expression signatures for the prediction of BRCA1/2 mutation-associated hereditary breast cancer in paraffin-embedded formalin-fixed breast tumors.
Int J Cancer. 2015; 136(3):593-602 [PubMed] Related Publications
Screening for germline mutations in breast cancer-associated genes BRCA1 and BRCA2 is indicated for patients with breast cancer from high-risk breast cancer families and influences both treatment options and clinical management. However, only 25% of selected patients test positive for BRCA1/2 mutation, indicating that additional diagnostic biomarkers are necessary. We analyzed 124 formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tumor samples from patients with hereditary (104) and sporadic (20) invasive breast cancer, divided into two series (A and B). Microarray expression profiling of 829 human miRNAs was performed on 76 samples (Series A), and bioinformatics tool Prophet was used to develop and test a microarray classifier. Samples were stratified into a training set (n = 38) for microarray classifier generation and a test set (n = 38) for signature validation. A 35-miRNA microarray classifier was generated for the prediction of BRCA1/2 mutation status with a reported 95% (95% CI = 0.88-1.0) and 92% (95% CI: 0.84-1.0) accuracy in the training and the test set, respectively. Differential expression of 12 miRNAs between BRCA1/2 mutation carriers versus noncarriers was validated by qPCR in an independent tumor series B (n = 48). Logistic regression model based on the expression of six miRNAs (miR-142-3p, miR-505*, miR-1248, miR-181a-2*, miR-25* and miR-340*) discriminated between tumors from BRCA1/2 mutation carriers and noncarriers with 92% (95% CI: 0.84-0.99) accuracy. In conclusion, we identified miRNA expression signatures predictive of BRCA1/2 mutation status in routinely available FFPE breast tumor samples, which may be useful to complement current patient selection criteria for gene testing by identifying individuals with high likelihood of being BRCA1/2 mutation carriers.

Lokich E, Stuckey A, Raker C, et al.
Preoperative genetic testing affects surgical decision making in breast cancer patients.
Gynecol Oncol. 2014; 134(2):326-30 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVES: Our aim was to determine if BRCA mutation status changes surgical decision making in women who undergo genetic testing after the diagnosis of breast cancer.
METHODS: This is a retrospective cohort study of breast cancer patients who had BRCA mutation testing performed prior to surgery. We compared surgical choice and change in surgical choice in women who tested positive for a BRCA mutation with those who tested negative. Surgery was considered the most definitive surgery within a year of diagnosis. Other data collected included age, race, stage, histology, receptor status, adjuvant treatment, gravity, parity, and family history. Variables were compared by BRCA status using Fisher's exact test and logistic regression.
RESULTS: Three hundred and two women were included. Thirty-two (10.6%) were identified as carrying a BRCA mutation. Most women had early stage disease (55.6% T1 lesions, 72.8% node negative); 55.6% had breast-conserving surgery, and the remaining had unilateral or bilateral mastectomy. BRCA mutation carriers were more likely to have both a personal history of breast cancer (RR 2.74, 95% CI=1.08-6.98) and hormone receptor-negative tumors (56.0% vs. 26.2%, p=0.002). BRCA mutation carriers were more likely to choose bilateral mastectomy with reconstruction (56.3% vs. 15.9%, p<0.0001); 71.9% of BRCA mutation carriers opted for a different surgery than what was initially planned by their surgeon as compared to 29% of mutation-negative patients (p<0.0001).
CONCLUSIONS: BRCA mutation testing strongly influences surgical decision making in newly diagnosed breast cancer patients. For women who meet NCCN referral guidelines, genetic evaluation should be performed prior to surgical intervention.

De Silva S, Tennekoon KH, Karunanayake EH, et al.
Analysis of BRCA1and BRCA2 large genomic rearrangements in Sri Lankan familial breast cancer patients and at risk individuals.
BMC Res Notes. 2014; 7:344 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/08/2015 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Majority of mutations found to date in the BRCA1/BRCA2 genes in breast and/or ovarian cancer families are point mutations or small insertions and deletions scattered over the coding sequence and splice junctions. Such mutations and sequence variants of BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes were previously identified in a group of Sri Lankan breast cancer patients. Large genomic rearrangements have been characterized in BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes in several populations but these have not been characterized in Sri Lankan breast cancer patients.
FINDINGS: A cohort of familial breast cancer patients (N = 57), at risk individuals (N = 25) and healthy controls (N = 23) were analyzed using multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification method to detect BRCA1 and BRCA2 large genomic rearrangements. One familial breast cancer patient showed an ambiguous deletion in exon 6 of BRCA1 gene. Full sequencing of the ambiguous region was used to confirm MLPA results. Ambiguous deletion detected by MLPA was found to be a false positive result confirming that BRCA1 large genomic rearrangements were absent in the subjects studied. No BRCA2 rearrangement was also identified in the cohort.
CONCLUSION: Thus this study demonstrates that BRCA1 and BRCA2 large genomic rearrangements are unlikely to make a significant contribution to aetiology of breast cancer in Sri Lanka.

Cecener G, Egeli U, Tunca B, et al.
BRCA1/2 germline mutations and their clinical importance in Turkish breast cancer patients.
Cancer Invest. 2014; 32(8):375-87 [PubMed] Related Publications
BRCA1/BRCA2 genes were screened in 117 patients with breast cancer by sequencing. Fourteen percent of patients tested positive for BRCA1/BRCA2 mutations. Four frame shift mutations, four pathogenic missense mutations, and 25 different sequence variations were detected. BRCA mutation positivity was significantly associated with Ki67 (p = .001). BRCA protein expressions were decreased in the patients harboring important mutations and polymorphisms (BRCA1;P508 stop, V1740G, Q1182R, Q1756P and BRCA2;V2466A) related with disease. Our findings contribute significantly to the types of germline BRCA1/BRCA2 mutations and their biological effects in Turkish women. These data could help guide the management of BRCA1/BRCA2 mutation-carrying patients when considering breast-conserving therapy.

Silva FC, Lisboa BC, Figueiredo MC, et al.
Hereditary breast and ovarian cancer: assessment of point mutations and copy number variations in Brazilian patients.
BMC Med Genet. 2014; 15:55 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/08/2015 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Germ line mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2 (BRCA1/2) and other susceptibility genes have been identified as genetic causes of hereditary breast and ovarian cancer (HBOC). To identify the disease-causing mutations in a cohort of 120 Brazilian women fulfilling criteria for HBOC, we carried out a comprehensive screening of BRCA1/2, TP53 R337H, CHEK2 1100delC, followed by an analysis of copy number variations in 14 additional breast cancer susceptibility genes (PTEN, ATM, NBN, RAD50, RAD51, BRIP1, PALB2, MLH1, MSH2, MSH6, TP53, CDKN2A, CDH1 and CTNNB1).
METHODS: Capillary sequencing and multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA) were used for detecting point mutations and copy number variations (CNVs), respectively, for the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes; capillary sequencing was used for point mutation for both variants TP53 R337H and CHEK2 1100delC, and finally array comparative genomic hybridization (array-CGH) was used for identifying CNVs in the 14 additional genes.
RESULTS: The positive detection rate in our series was 26%. BRCA1 pathogenic mutations were found in 20 cases, including two cases with CNVs, whereas BRCA2 mutations were found in 7 cases. We also found three patients with the TP53 R337H mutation and one patient with the CHEK2 1100delC mutation. Seven (25%) pathogenic mutations in BRCA1/2 were firstly described, including a splice-site BRCA1 mutation for which pathogenicity was confirmed by the presence of an aberrant transcript showing the loss of the last 62 bp of exon 7. Microdeletions of exon 4 in ATM and exon 2 in PTEN were identified in BRCA2-mutated and BRCA1/2-negative patients, respectively.
CONCLUSIONS: In summary, our results showed a high frequency of BRCA1/2 mutations and a higher prevalence of BRCA1 (64.5%) gene. Moreover, the detection of the TP53 R337H variant in our series and the fact that this variant has a founder effect in our population prompted us to suggest that all female breast cancer patients with clinical criteria for HBOC and negative for BRCA1/2 genes should be tested for the TP53 R337H variant. Furthermore, the presence of genomic structural rearrangement resulting in CNVs in other genes that predispose breast cancer in conjunction with BRCA2 point mutations demonstrated a highly complex genetic etiology in Brazilian breast cancer families.

Ledermann J, Harter P, Gourley C, et al.
Olaparib maintenance therapy in patients with platinum-sensitive relapsed serous ovarian cancer: a preplanned retrospective analysis of outcomes by BRCA status in a randomised phase 2 trial.
Lancet Oncol. 2014; 15(8):852-61 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Maintenance monotherapy with the PARP inhibitor olaparib significantly prolonged progression-free survival (PFS) versus placebo in patients with platinum-sensitive recurrent serous ovarian cancer. We aimed to explore the hypothesis that olaparib is most likely to benefit patients with a BRCA mutation.
METHODS: We present data from the second interim analysis of overall survival and a retrospective, preplanned analysis of data by BRCA mutation status from our randomised, double-blind, phase 2 study that assessed maintenance treatment with olaparib 400 mg twice daily (capsules) versus placebo in patients with platinum-sensitive recurrent serous ovarian cancer who had received two or more platinum-based regimens and who had a partial or complete response to their most recent platinum-based regimen. Randomisation was by an interactive voice response system, stratified by time to progression on penultimate platinum-based regimen, response to the most recent platinum-based regimen before randomisation, and ethnic descent. The primary endpoint was PFS, analysed for the overall population and by BRCA status. This study is registered with, number NCT00753545.
FINDINGS: Between Aug 28, 2008, and Feb 9, 2010, 136 patients were assigned to olaparib and 129 to placebo. BRCA status was known for 131 (96%) patients in the olaparib group versus 123 (95%) in the placebo group, of whom 74 (56%) versus 62 (50%) had a deleterious or suspected deleterious germline or tumour BRCA mutation. Of patients with a BRCA mutation, median PFS was significantly longer in the olaparib group than in the placebo group (11·2 months [95% CI 8·3-not calculable] vs 4·3 months [3·0-5·4]; HR 0·18 [0·10-0·31]; p<0·0001); similar findings were noted for patients with wild-type BRCA, although the difference between groups was lower (7·4 months [5·5-10·3] vs 5·5 months [3·7-5·6]; HR 0·54 [0·34-0·85]; p=0·0075). At the second interim analysis of overall survival (58% maturity), overall survival did not significantly differ between the groups (HR 0·88 [95% CI 0·64-1·21]; p=0·44); similar findings were noted for patients with mutated BRCA (HR 0·73 [0·45-1·17]; p=0·19) and wild-type BRCA (HR 0·99 [0·63-1·55]; p=0·96). The most common grade 3 or worse adverse events in the olaparib group were fatigue (in ten [7%] patients in the olaparib group vs four [3%] in the placebo group) and anaemia (seven [5%] vs one [<1%]). Serious adverse events were reported in 25 (18%) patients who received olaparib and 11 (9%) who received placebo. Tolerability was similar in patients with mutated BRCA and the overall population.
INTERPRETATION: These results support the hypothesis that patients with platinum-sensitive recurrent serous ovarian cancer with a BRCA mutation have the greatest likelihood of benefiting from olaparib treatment.
FUNDING: AstraZeneca.

Kirby R
Optimising the management of early prostate cancer.
Practitioner. 2014; 258(1770):15-8, 2 [PubMed] Related Publications
One in eight men in the UK will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during their lifetime. The risk of prostate cancer is strongly age-related and is also linked with a Western lifestyle. Other risk factors include Afro-Caribbean ethnic origin and a positive family history. The more first-degree relatives affected the greater the risk of developing the disease. More than 70 familial prostate cancer susceptibility genes, including the important breast cancer gene BRCA2, have now been identified. A suspicion of a diagnosis of prostate cancer is usually based on either induration or nodularity of the prostate on digital rectal examination or, more commonly, a rise in serum prostate specific antigen (PSA) level. The usual cut-off point for PSA is taken as 4 ng/ml, but in men below 65 a value of more than 2.5 ng/ml should raise suspicion. A progressive rise in PSA over time may also indicate the possibility of the presence of a cancer within the prostate. When prostate cancer is suspected, increasingly urologists are requesting multiparametric magnetic resonance imaging of the gland before deciding whether or not a biopsy is indicated. The Gleason grading of any cancer identified is an important part of the decision-making process concerning the need for active treatment, as opposed to surveillance alone. Gleason pattern 6 cancers are regarded as low risk, Gleason 7 intermediate risk and 8-10 high risk. In patients diagnosed with intermediate- or high-risk prostate cancer further investigations are required to determine the local extent of the disease and to exclude the presence of metastases.

Majeed W, Aslam B, Javed I, et al.
Breast cancer: major risk factors and recent developments in treatment.
Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2014; 15(8):3353-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
Breast cancer is the most common in women worldwide, with some 5-10% of all cases due to inherited mutations of BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. Obesity, hormone therapy and use of alcohol are possible causes and over-expression of leptin in adipose tissue may also play a role. Normally surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy allow a good prognosis where screening measures are in place. New hope in treatment measures include adjuvant therapy, neoadjuvant therapy, and introduction of mono-clonal antibodies and enzyme inhibitors.

Lim JJ, Yang K, Taylor-Harding B, et al.
VEGFR3 inhibition chemosensitizes ovarian cancer stemlike cells through down-regulation of BRCA1 and BRCA2.
Neoplasia. 2014; 16(4):343-53.e1-2 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/08/2015 Related Publications
In ovarian cancer, loss of BRCA gene expression in tumors is associated with improved response to chemotherapy and increased survival. A means to pharmacologically downregulate BRCA gene expression could improve the outcomes of patients with BRCA wild-type tumors. We report that vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 3 (VEGFR3) inhibition in ovarian cancer cells is associated with decreased levels of both BRCA1 and BRCA2. Inhibition of VEGFR3 in ovarian tumor cells was associated with growth arrest. CD133(+) ovarian cancer stemlike cells were preferentially susceptible to VEGFR3-mediated growth inhibition. VEGFR3 inhibition-mediated down-regulation of BRCA gene expression reversed chemotherapy resistance and restored chemosensitivity in resistant cell lines in which a BRCA2 mutation had reverted to wild type. Finally, we demonstrate that tumor-associated macrophages are a primary source of VEGF-C in the tumor microenvironment. Our studies suggest that VEGFR3 inhibition may be a pharmacologic means to downregulate BRCA genes and improve the outcomes of patients with BRCA wild-type tumors.

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