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Br J Cancer. 1996 Jul;74(1):1-5.

Deficient DNA repair capacity, a predisposing factor in breast cancer.

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Department of Pathology, Howard University College of Medicine, Washington, DC 20059, USA.


Women with breast cancer and a family history of breast cancer and some with sporadic breast cancer are deficient in the repair of radiation-induced DNA damage compared with normal donors with no family history of breast cancer. DNA repair was measured indirectly by quantifying chromatid breaks in phytohaemagglutinin (PHA)-stimulated blood lymphocytes after either X-irradiation or UV-C exposure, with or without post treatment with the DNA repair inhibitor, 1-beta-D-arabinofuranosylcytosine (ara-C). We have correlated chromatid breaks with unrepaired DNA strand breaks using responses to X-irradiation of cells from xeroderma pigmentosum patients with well-characterised DNA repair defects or responses of repair-deficient mutant Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells with or without transfected human DNA repair genes. Deficient DNA repair appears to be a predisposing factor in familial breast cancer and in some sporadic breast cancers.

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