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Genes Chromosomes Cancer. 2000 Feb;27(2):124-9.

Prevalence of germline truncating mutations in ATM in women with a second breast cancer after radiation therapy for a contralateral tumor.

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Department of Radiation Oncology, Brigham and Women's Hospital-Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Joint Center for Radiation Therapy, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.


Patients treated with conservative surgery and radiation therapy for early-stage breast cancer develop a contralateral breast cancer at a rate of approximately 0.75% per year. Ataxia-telangiectasia (AT) is an autosomal recessive disease that is characterized by increased sensitivity to ionizing radiation (IR) and cancer susceptibility. Epidemiologic studies have suggested that AT carriers, who comprise 1% of the population, may be at an increased risk for developing breast cancer, particularly after exposure to IR. To test this hypothesis, we analyzed blood samples from 57 patients who developed a contralateral breast cancer at least 6 months after completion of radiation therapy for an initial breast tumor. A cDNA-based truncation assay in yeast was used to test for heterozygous mutations in the ATM gene, which is responsible for AT. No mutations were detected. Our findings fail to support the hypothesis that AT carriers account for a significant fraction of breast cancer cases arising in women after exposure to radiation. Genes Chromosomes Cancer 27:124-129, 2000.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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