BRCA1 and BRCA2 are genes expressed in cells of the breast and other tissues. These genes are involved in both familial breast cancer and ovarian cancers. BRCA 1/2 produce tumor suppressor proteins which regulate the repair of damaged DNA, mutations within these genes can affect the stability of the cells genetic material1. As a result, cells are more likely to develop additional genetic alterations that can lead to breast and/or cancer.

BRCAness is a phenotype also known as – homologous recombination deficiency (HRD). Genomic studies have shown that half of epithelial ovarian cancers (EOCs) have alterations in genes regulating homologous recombination (HR) repair. Loss of HR accounts for the genomic instability of EOCs and for their cellular hyper-dependence on alternative poly-ADP ribose polymerase (PARP)-mediated DNA repair mechanisms.

An Investigation into the distribution of BRCA1/2 mutation/ness Breast and Ovarian Cancer Populations