Epidemiological studies provide compelling evidence that inherited susceptibility plays an important role in cancer risk. Over the past 25 years, advances in genomic technologies have helped us identify hundreds of genetic variants associated with increased cancer risk. These advances provide greater understanding of cancer biology, enhancing our ability to predict cancer risk and suggesting potential targets for therapeutic and preventive strategies.
For example, DCCPS research helped show that a BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation predisposes women to breast and ovarian cancer. Now, women carrying the mutation can benefit greatly from risk reduction strategies. Additionally, individuals with other inherited syndromes, such as Lynch syndrome, benefit from earlier and more frequent surveillance.