Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Bone marrow transplant need to save the life of 26 year-old Natash Collins, a Yale medical student

Natasha Collins is a 26 year-old Yale medical student who is batting leukemia for the second time. She needs a bone marrow transplant to save her life, but does not have a match. Natasha is half African American and half Caucasian, making her a molecular minority because her bone marrow is difficult to match. A match for Natasha is likely to also be of mixed heritage Minority and mixed heritage donors are underrepresented in the Registry. Natasha grew up in Syracuse, NY, and in addition to being a stellar student, loving daughter, and generous friend, Natasha loves to cook, knit, travel, and eat carrot cake. She has a bright future as a doctor and needs your help to make this dream come true. Please consider joining the Be the Match Registry. Free registration is available through April 30th at with code BK041309. You can also visit the group “Become Natasha's Hero” on Facebook at . Read more!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Paul Ridley celebrates the completion of his solo rowing expedition across the Atlantic on March 29. His 88-day trip raised $100,000.

Row for Hope is proud to partner with Yale Cancer Center to fund cutting-edge research that is dedicated to bringing tomorrow's cancer treatments and cures to patients today. The group was founded by Paul and Joy Ridley after losing their mother to skin cancer in 2001. Row for Hope is public charity focused on funding the ongoing fight for progress in the field of cancer research. Please click on the above light blue link to read more about Paul's journey or visit to make a donation.

Read more!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Removing the Doubt: One Woman's Choice for Bilateral Mastectomy

Thirty-six year old Karen Aulner has never been diagnosed of cancer. However, she has watched her sister fight the disease since 2000. So when Ms. Aulner tested positive for a BRCA gene mutation in 2004 she decided to have a bilateral mastectomy. Please keep in mind that this is just one of the options available to women who learn they carry a BRCA mutation. For more information about options for surveillance and risk reduction please speak with a genetic counselor and your physicians.

To read more about Ms. Aulner’s story please click on the above light blue link or visit Read more!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Unraveling the Next Chapter for Female BRCA carriers: Sexual Development, Body Image and Sexual Functioning

Clinical genetic testing for BRCA1 and BRCA2 has become available in the past 15 years, and it has been established that female BRCA carriers have a high lifetime risk to develop both breast and ovarian cancer. Predisposition testing makes it possible to predict risk in families and to tailor medical management accordingly. In addition to close surveillance, prophylactic mastectomy and oophorectomy are primary risk reduction strategies offered to BRCA carriers. Although the emphasis of research thus far has been on the efficacy of surveillance and risk reduction strategies, it has become clear that genetic testing and the resulting medical decisions around risk reduction lead to a unique set of emotional, physical, and sexual issues for female BRCA carriers and their children.

Matloff ET. Cancer J. 2009 Jan-Feb;15(1):15-8. Read more!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Promising Test Flags BRCA Mutations in Populations of Hispanic Women

In a recent small pilot study of 23 Hispanic women, Dr. Jeffrey Weitzel and colleagues found several specific mutations with the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes (associated with hereditary breast and ovarian cancer) that appear to be more common among Hispanics. Although the sample population was small, these results are promising and may make genetic testing for hereditary breast and ovarian cancer syndrome more affordable for individuals who are uninsured or underinsured. The efforts to offer targeted, more affordable testing are particularly important because Myriad Genetic Laboratories hold and enforce the patent rights for BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene testing; therefore, they control the cost of testing which has risen from $1,600 in 1998 to more than $3,100 per patient in 2009.

To read more about this article please click on the above light blue link.

Voelker R. JAMA. 2009;301(13):1326-1327. Read more!