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Hallmarks of 'BRCAness' in sporadic cancers


Germline mutations in the BRCA1, BRCA2 and Fanconi anaemia genes confer cancer susceptibility, and the proteins encoded by these genes have distinct functions in related DNA-repair processes. Emerging evidence indicates that these processes are disrupted by numerous mechanisms in sporadic cancers. Collectively, there are properties that define 'BRCAness' — that is, traits that some sporadic cancers share with those occurring in either BRCA1- or BRCA2-mutation carriers. These common properties might have important implications for the clinical management of these cancers.

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Figure 1: The BRCA/Fanconi anaemia DNA-repair pathways.
Figure 2: Hallmarks of BRCAness.
Figure 3: Exploiting the DNA-repair defect of BRCAness phenotypes.


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Correspondence to Alan Ashworth.

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Turner, N., Tutt, A. & Ashworth, A. Hallmarks of 'BRCAness' in sporadic cancers. Nat Rev Cancer 4, 814–819 (2004).

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