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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