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Nat Rev Cancer. 2016 Feb;16(2):110-20. doi: 10.1038/nrc.2015.21. Epub 2016 Jan 18.

BRCAness revisited.

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Cancer Research UK Gene Function Laboratory and Breast Cancer Now Research Centre, The Institute of Cancer Research, London SW3 6JB, UK.
UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of California, San Francisco, California 94158, USA.


Over the past 20 years, there has been considerable progress in our understanding of the biological functions of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 cancer susceptibility genes. This has led to the development of new therapeutic approaches that target tumours with loss-of-function mutations in either BRCA1 or BRCA2. Tumours that share molecular features of BRCA-mutant tumours - that is, those with 'BRCAness' - may also respond to similar therapeutic approaches. Several paradigm shifts require a reassessment of the concept of BRCAness, how this property is assayed and its relevance to our understanding of tumour biology and the treatment of cancer.

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