Polygenic Risk Score Improves Breast Cancer Prediction

May 1, 2015
Polygenic Risk Score Improves Breast Cancer Prediction
Polygenic risk scoring can help to identify women in higher risk categories who may benefit from interventions such as MRIs, chemoprevention, or even prophylactic mastectomies. [iStock/Wavebreak]

Many gene variants, one genetic profile—that’s the approach Mayo Clinic scientists are using to personalize breast cancer prediction. The relevant gene variants here are common variants that contribute little to a person’s overall risk of developing breast cancer—at least when they are considered individually. In combination, however, these variants constitute a powerful risk factor, one that offers clinicians as much guidance as breast density or family history.

What’s more, the combination approach does not merely duplicate the predictions based on existing breast cancer risk models. It provides an independent risk factor. Accordingly, it could be integrated with existing models, improving their predictive powers.

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