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In the United States, 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer, the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women around the world and second leading cause of death after heart disease. Although men have a lower risk, an estimated 2,150 men are diagnosed every year. Risk factors for getting the disease can be genetic or environmental or both, however it is important to note that 60 to 70% of people with breast cancer have no connection to these risk factors at all and some with risk factors may never develop the cancer.
Today our host sits down with Nurse Practitioner, Patricia Moore, who co-authored the article Genetic testing for BRCA1 and BRCA2 alongside Dr. Cathy Kessenich and Kathryn Bacher.
Patricia Moore MSN ARNP
Patti is a Nurse Practitioner in Tampa Florida, practicing in Women's Health for the past 10 years. She is also an adjunct faculty member at the University of Tampa. Patti first became interested in Bracanalysis when she learned that 5% of the population carries the Brca 1& 2 Gene which predisposes a person up to a 44%risk for developing ovarian cancer and an 87% chance risk for developing breast cancer over a lifetime.
Since then Women’s Care Florida has tested hundreds of patients with strong family histories for the associated cancers, all of whom have been thankful to be able to stratify their risk and benefit from increased surveillance and management.
Joyce speaks with Ellen Matloff, geneticist, about her newest venture, MyGeneCounsel.
Ellen Matloff, MS, CGC is the President and CEO of My Gene Counsel. Ellen is the founder and former director of the Cancer Genetic Counseling Program at Yale School of Medicine and a lead plaintiff in the 2013 United States Supreme Court gene patent case. Ellen has authored more than 50 scientific publications in the field, is an established educator, lecturer and media spokesperson and has received national awards for her ongoing patient advocacy efforts.
She was the 2013 honoree of ArtBra New Haven for her work with hereditary breast cancer, and particularly for helping to challenge the validity of patenting the genes for breast cancer.
Ellen’s area of special interest is BRCA I and BRCA II mutations, which vastly increase the probability of a carrier developing breast and/or ovarian cancer. For the past 18 years, she has been dedicated to patient and provider issues in cancer genetic counseling, and the impact of genetic patents on patients and clinical practice.
Ellen was one of the lead plaintiffs in Association of Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics, the landmark case before the U.S. Supreme Court, which challenged the validity of patenting naturally-occurring substances from the human body. Myriad Genetics had patented the BRCA I and II genes, and held the monopoly on testing. This effectively froze research, and made necessary testing unaffordable for many patients, leaving them to make huge decisions about their treatment without vital information. Ellen worked tirelessly for the interests of breast cancer patients and their families.
Lindsey Avner and Leslie Jacobs share powerful information about the impact of genetic testing in young women with increased risk for breast and/or ovarian cancer. Lindsey is the founder and CEO of Bright Pink, a national non-profit, on a mission to save lives by encouraging young women to be proactive about breast and ovarian cancer risk from a young age. Leslie is the current support ambassador for the Cincinnati Bright Pink location.
OvaNext is a next generation (next-gen) sequencing panel that simultaneously analyzes 23 genes that contribute to increased risk for breast, ovarian and/or uterine cancers.
Ambry utilizes next generation sequencing to offer a comprehensive genetic testing panel for hereditary gynecologic cancers (cancer of the breast, ovary and/or uterus), including BRCA1 and BRCA2.
CancerNext-ExpandedTM is a next generation sequencing (NGS) panel that simultaneously analyzes 43 genes associated with increased risk for breast, colon, ovarian, pancreatic, renal, uterine, and many other cancers. Ambry utilizes next-generation sequencing to offer a comprehensive hereditary pan-cancer panel.
PancNextTM is a next-generation sequencing (NGS) panel that simultaneously analyzes 13 genes implicated in hereditary pancreatic cancer.
Utilizing next-generation sequencing (NGS) technology, Ambry Genetics developed a comprehensive test for hereditary pancreatic cancer (specifically pancreatic adenocarcinoma) comprised of 13 genes (APC, ATM, BRCA1, BRCA2, CDKN2A, EPCAM, MLH1, MSH2, MSH6, PALB2, PMS2, STK11, TP53).
Many important medications available today have been developed with public dollars and yet are costly to patients. The government, especially through the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has funded many seminal research directly contributing to the discovery of transformative medicines. Congress enacted the Bayh-Dole Act in 1980 which allowed universities to patent the results of federally funded research and then license these patents to commercial entities. In 2013, Senator Patrick Leahy asked the NIH to expand the availability of Myriad’s genetic tests to identify BRCA 1 and BRCA 2 which predict high risk of breast and ovarian cancer. The essential discoveries that made the test possible were developed with government funding and that the cost of the test ($3000) is unaffordable for millions of women; the request was denied.
Undifferentiated stem cell separation technology used in bone marrow transplants was heavily supported by NIH funding, however, the procedure is extremely costly to the patient and unaffordable for patients without insurance.
The retroviral drug, ritonavir- a human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) protease inhibitor was developed with government funding to Abbott Laboratories and Columbia University. This is a major medicine for the treatment of HIV, but its pharmaceutical cost in America is 4 to 5 times higher than the same drug in other countries.
Recently, patients with Fabry disease requested an open license for an enzyme replacement therapy developed with government funding at Mount Sinai School of Medicine and licensed to Genzyme. The NIH rejected the petition.
Thursday, May 23rd, on Liberal Dan Radio:
Does your DNA belong to you? A lawsuit has been filed against Myriad Genetics. Myriad claims to own the gene BRCA1, the same gene used to determine that Angelina Jolie has a higher risk of breast cancer than normal. It also claims to own the BRCA2 gene as well. Can one own a patent on a gene that your own body creates? Can one own a patent on a design on how to test for those genes? Can one own a patent on all forms of ways to test for those genes regardless of if they develop those tests or not? I will go over the myriad issues surrounding this case and what it means for individuals who are seeking to see if they are also at risk.
Also, a Florida high school student who is 18 has been charged with raping her 15 year old female classmate. Some are blaming the religious beliefs of the 15 year old girl as the cause of the charges against the older student. Is it really correct to make this a gay rights issue? Would religious parents have accepted it had the 18 year old student been male?
Finally, a new Planned Parenthood will be opening in New Orleans. I will go over the arguments made by those opposed to the opening of this new center and explain why they are horribly wrong.
Those stories, headlines, redneck words of wisdom, an update by Cool Mini Or Not and your calls on Liberal Dan Radio: talk from the left, that's right.
Debate the show on liberaldan.com
Pattie Welek Hall interviews Nicki Durlester, author Beyond the Pink Moon. During this powerful interview Nicki will share her transformational journey after being diagnosed with breast cancer;the BRCA2 gene; and her frustration in finding the right team of doctors. She will also give insight into her mother and aunts who faced breast and ovarian cancer with extraordinary grace and courage.
Nicki Boscia Durlester is originally from Easton, Pennsylvania. After graduating from Franklin & Marshall College, she moved to New York City where she worked in banking. In 1995, she founded Durlester Consulting, a retained executive search practice specializing in the placement of wealth management professionals. Headhunter by day, writer by night, she currently lives in Sherman Oaks, California with her husband and two children. She is a breast cancer survivor. This is her first book.
Studies have found the following risk factors for prostate cancer-Age over 65: Age is the main risk factor for prostate cancer. The chance of getting prostate cancer increases as you get older. In the United States, most men with prostate cancer are over 65. This disease is rare in men under 45. Family history: Your risk is higher if your father, brother, or son had prostate cancer. Race: Prostate cancer is more common among black men than white or Hispanic/Latino men. It's less common among Asian/Pacific Islander and American Indian/Alaska Native men. Certain prostate changes: Men with cells called high-grade prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PIN) may be at increased risk of prostate cancer. These prostate cells look abnormal under a microscope. Certain genome changes: Researchers have found specific regions on certain chromosomes that are linked to the risk of prostate cancer. According to recent studies, if a man has a genetic change in one or more of these regions, the risk of prostate cancer may be increased. The risk increases with the number of genetic changes that are found. Also, other studies have shown an elevated risk of prostate cancer among men with changes in certain genes, such as BRCA1 and BRCA2. Having a risk factor doesn't mean that a man will develop prostate cancer. Most men who have risk factors never develop the disease.