Better treatment for breast cancer, Mary-Claire King
Interviewee: Mary-Claire King. Mary-Claire King reflects on how knowledge gained from the identification of BRCA1 and BRCA2 could lead to improved cancer treatments. (DNAi Location: Applications > Genes and medicine > Gene hunting > The finish line > Possible treatments)
What all of us still hope is that the enormous amount of biology that we've learned about the development of breast cancer and ovarian cancer from knowing that mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2 are involved, will eventually lead to treatments for those cancers themselves, and will in the medium term lead to ways of detecting very small breast cancers and very small ovarian cancers, that is, not just identifying a woman who is likely to eventually develop one, but actually detecting the cancer itself, whether it's from a woman with an inherited mutation or otherwise. That kind of work is at least as big a challenge as the identification of the genes was originally, and many of us both public sector and I assume private sector, are out to identify those sorts of tools, those sorts of gene products on the surface of cells that we can see later on, those downstream consequences of mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2. It's an interesting time.
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Mary-Claire King talks about testing for breast cancer.
Mary-Claire King talks about the value of using the centuries-old tool of family pedigrees to gain insight into patterns of inheritance of genetic disorders.
Mary-Claire King speaks about how much was yet to be understood about the genetic mechanisms of cancer when she began her hunt for genes associated with breast cancer.
BRCA2, on chromosome 13, is one of the genes associated with hereditary breast cancer
BRCA1, on chromosome 17, is one of the genes associated with hereditary breast cancer.
Mark Skolnick talks about moving on after the discovery of BRCA1 to find and clone another gene associated with breast cancer, BRCA2.
Matt Ridley talks about chromosome 13, BRCA2 gene for breast cancer susceptibility.
Mary-Claire King talks about her first steps toward finding the gene responsible for certain kinds of inherited breast cancer.
Mark Skolnick is Chief Scientific Officer at Myriad Genetics, Inc.
Mary-Claire King is currently a professor and activist at the University of Washington in Seattle.