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Eur J Hum Genet. 2003 Jun;11(6):464-7.

Similar contributions of BRCA1 and BRCA2 germline mutations to early-onset breast cancer in Germany.

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Division of Molecular Genome Analysis, Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, Im Neuenheimer Feld 280, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany.


This study was undertaken to investigate the prevalence of BRCA1 and BRCA2 germline mutations in 91 German patients unselected for family history, who were diagnosed with breast cancer before the age of 41 years. Clinical information and blood samples were obtained from all patients. A comprehensive BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutational analysis was performed using the protein truncation assay and single-strand conformational polymorphism analysis followed by DNA sequencing of variant signals detected by these assays. Five different deleterious germline mutations including four frameshift mutations and one missense mutation were identified, three in BRCA1 (3.3%) and two mutations (2.2%) in BRCA2. Both BRCA2 mutations are novel and might be specific for the German population. An additional BRCA1 missense mutation previously described and classified as an unknown variant was found. This mutation was also detected in two breast cancer patients of family P 328 and not in 140 healthy controls suggesting that it is disease associated. In addition, one common polymorphism and five novel intronic sequence variants with unknown significance were found. Our findings show that mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2 may contribute similarly to early-onset breast cancer in Germany. Given current constraints on health-care resources, these results support the notion that BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation screening may have the strongest impact on health-care when targeted to high-risk populations.

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