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Fam Cancer. 2011 Jun;10(2):207-12. doi: 10.1007/s10689-011-9422-5.

Screening of 1331 Danish breast and/or ovarian cancer families identified 40 novel BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations.

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Genomic Medicine, Department of Clinical Biochemistry, Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen University Hospital, Blegdamsvej 9, 2100 Copenhagen, Denmark.


Germ-line mutations in the tumour suppressor genes BRCA1 and BRCA2 predispose to breast and ovarian cancer. Since 1999 we have performed mutational screening of breast and/or ovarian cancer patients in East Denmark. During this period we have identified 40 novel sequence variations in BRCA1 and BRCA2 in high risk breast and/or ovarian cancer families. The mutations were detected via pre-screening using dHPLC or high-resolution melting and direct sequencing. We identified 16 variants in BRCA1, including 9 deleterious frame-shift mutations, 2 intronic variants, 4 missense mutations, and 1 synonymous variant. The remaining 24 variants were identified in BRCA2, including 10 deleterious mutants (6 frame-shift and 4 nonsense), 2 intronic variants, 10 missense mutations and 2 synonymous variants. The frequency of the variants of unknown significance was examined in control individuals. Moreover, the presumed significance of the missense mutations was predicted in silico using the align GVGD algorithm. In conclusion, the mutation screening identified 40 novel variants in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes and thereby extends the knowledge of the BRCA1/BRCA2 mutation spectrum. Nineteen of the mutations were interpreted as pathogenic, 3 missense mutations were suggested to be pathogenic based on in silico analysis, 6 mutations were suggested to be benign since they were identified in patients together with a well-known disease-causing BRCA1/BRCA2 mutation, while 12 were variants of unknown significance.

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