Salient findings from the paper were released on the side lines of a research facility tour highlighting the latest technology available in India to decipher complex diseases such as cancer and various inherited genetic disorders.
Primary findings of the cases of Breast and Ovarian Cancer Patients from India, undertaken by Strand, indicates that prevalence of BRCA (BReast Cancer) gene mutations in the Indian population is at least three times higher than in the western world.'When the BRCA gene was initially identified in the 1990s as the reason for breast and ovarian cancer incidence by Dr.Mary-Claire King, a pioneer in Genomics, it wasn’t considered as a major threat worldwide.However, when data over the years on prevalence of Breast Cancer was collated, the BRCA gene mutations were found to be a key cause of cancer incidence across the globe.
'Keeping in mind the importance of population data for a non-communicable disease such as cancer, and its tremendous impact on healthcare, we have extended our preliminary study to include several hundred patients now, in order to obtain a comprehensive genetic profile of breast and ovarian cases in India,'.
Dr.Sudhir Borgonha, Chief Medical Officer, Strand Life Sciences, said in the report.The report said 72 per cent of the first degree relatives (parents, children, siblings) of cancer patients who underwent testing were found to be positive for the same mutation responsible for the cancer in the family.It was recommended that relatives of a patient should be tested in order to be aware of their cancer risk predisposition, and to take required screening and preventive measures for timely diagnosis and cancer prevention.
'We have seen Breast Cancer patients as young as 20 years of age.If a genomic profiling is done on these patients, we can understand if their cancer is hereditary, and advise other family members to be tested,' Dr.Borgonha added.The third most important finding of the report suggested that 20 percent of BRCA-positive Breast and Ovarian (BOC) patients displayed no family history of cancer.(UNI)