About Breast Cancer
- Breast cancer is an uncontrolled growth of breast cells.
- Breast cancer is diagnosed in over 1.3 million women worldwide each year and is the leading cause of cancer-related death in women.
- In the United States (US) and Europe, breast cancer is the most common cancer in women, with over 180,000 new cases in the US and 332,000 new cases in the countries of the European Union (EU-27) in 2008.2,3
Breast Cancer Genes:
- There are many genetic factors associated with breast cancer. One of these genetic characteristics includes mutations or alterations in the breast cancer susceptibility genes, BRCA1 and BRCA2.
- BRCA is known as the breast cancer gene. This gene produces tumor suppressor proteins that help repair damaged DNA and is the only known cause of hereditary breast cancer.
- Hereditary BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations account for around 60% of all inherited breast cancer.
- Hereditary breast cancer accounts for approximately 5% of breast cancer cases, usually occurring before age 50 years.
- Advancing age is the strongest individually identified risk factor for breast cancer, but family history provides one of the strongest clues to the possibility of hereditary breast cancer.
PARP and PARP Inhibitors:
- The investigational medication veliparib is a PARP-inhibitor that is designed to increase sensitivity of tumor cells to DNA-damaging agents. It is being used in combination with paclitaxel and carboplatin in patients with HER2-negative metastatic or locally advanced unresectable BRCA-associated breast cancer.