Is P53 the New Breast Cancer Gene?
There is so much attention given to the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes in relation to the development of breast cancer. However some research shows that only a very small percentage of breast cancer cases actually involve the gene. P53, another controversial breast cancer marker, could play a big role in the next generation of research.
BRCA1 and BRCA2 are the well-known genes associated with the development of breast cancer. They are tumor-suppressor genes that produce proteins to help repair damaged DNA. If these genes get mutated or damaged, they fail to produce the right proteins, and the DNA may not be repaired. This can lead to more mutations and, eventually, the development of cancer. What does the research say about the association of BRCA1 and BRCA2 with breast cancer? According to the Journal of Epidemiology Community Health, ‘Genetic inheritance is an infrequent but not the main cause of breast cancer. The consensus is that breast cancer susceptibility or cancer predisposition genes are associated with only 4%–8% of breast cancer cases. It is apparent therefore that 92%–96% of cases are sporadic. The New England Journal of Medicine states that only 7% of women from families with a history of breast cancer had BRCA1 mutations. Last, the journal Carcinogenesis states that mutations of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes account for 5% of breast cancer in the US annually.
Is there another genetic abnormality other than the famous and infamous BRCA genes that may spark breast cancer? Allow me to introduce P53.