ISPE Glossary of Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology Terminology

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BRCA1 and BRCA2 (Breast Cancer genes 1 and 2)

Two genes that normally help to restrain cell growth, but which can obtain certain genetic mutations associated with the development of breast and ovarian cancer. Note, however, that inherited BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations are thought to account for less than 10 percent of all breast and ovarian cancers. Recent evidence suggests that somatic cell genetic mutations (i.e., noninherited genetic mutations) in these two genes may also play a role in the development of cancer.

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