Primary Outcome Measures:
- determine the prevalence of recurring BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations [ Time Frame: 5 years ]
Blocks or extracted DNA from patients who have identified themselves as Jewish will be obtained and a determination will be made as to whether there is adequate material to proceed without exhausting the block or extracted DNA.
Four unstained sections (research specimens) or paraffin "curls" will be cut from each block. In those cases where a block containing normal resection margin or any other biopsy of normal tissue are available, tissue will be cut from this block so as to preserve tumor tissue for later investigators. It is not necessary for sections to be reviewed to confirm that tumor is present in the section, since any germline DNA is adequate for this analysis.
Germline mutations in the genes BRCA1 and BRCA2 have been demonstrated in the majority of hereditary breast and ovarian cancer families. The increased risk to develop both breast and ovarian cancer associated with inheriting a BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation has been well established. It has also been suggested that is an overrepresentation of other cancers such as colon, prostate and pancreatic cancer present in BRCA1 or BRCA2 families. Population specific mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2 have been identified. In the Ashkenazi Jewish population, 3 specific mutations have been seen in 2% of the population. This study will anonymously screen archived tissue samples of Ashkenazi Jewish individuals diagnosed with cancer between 1993 and 1996 at MSKCC for the three founder mutations seen in the Ashkenazi Jewish population. Results will be stratified by tumor type and compared with the population frequency to determine whether individuals inheriting mutations in BRCA1 or BRCA2 may have an increased risk to develop other cancers, in addition to breast and ovarian cancer. This information will be useful in helping to identify individuals who may benefit from genetic counseling and possibly genetic testing who to date are not typically referred. It will also be useful in developing high-risk cancer screening strategies and determining appropriate options for prophylactic surgery.