RAD51C has been found to increase the risk of getting these cancers.
Myriad Genetics obtained an exclusive license to intellectual property covering the analysis of the RAD51C gene, a risk marker of hereditary breast and ovarian cancer. Under the worldwide license, Myriad has co-exclusivity in Germany and aims to provide commercial testing for RAD51C.
RAD51C was identified initially as a susceptibility gene for hereditary breast and ovarian cancer by members of the German Consortium for Hereditary Breast and Ovarian cancers in collaboration with pediatric hematologists and basic scientists predominantly located at the universities of Cologne, Dusseldorf, and Munich.
As reported in the April 22, 2010 issue of Nature Genetics, mutations in the RAD51C gene were found exclusively within 480 pedigrees with a family history of breast and ovarian cancers but not in 2,912 healthy individuals. Six pathogenic germ-line mutations within the 480 pedigrees resulted in a mutation prevalence rate of 1.3% in this study population.
These findings were confirmed by a study published in the May 22, 2011 issue of Breast Cancer Research and Treatment. This study analyzed the status of the RAD51C gene in Finnish and Swedish families with a history of breast and ovarian cancer and found a mutation prevalence rate of 2.9%.