Hadassah

Breast Cancer and BRCA Gene Research

Hadassah has done extensive research with the BRCA gene mutation that significantly increases a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer. It was Hadassah that discovered at least a 10 times greater frequency of the BRCA mutation among Ashkenazi Jewish women. In addition, Hadassah found a different mutation in the BRCA gene in Persian women.


A Hadassah oncologist recently developed a blood test that reveals it is possible to predict the presence of harmful BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations in otherwise healthy women using a novel technology called gene expression profiling.

Hadassah’s Marlene Greenebaum Multidisciplinary Diagnostic Breast Center provides patients with the most sophisticated diagnostic technology and care available. And Hadassah’s Clinic for Oncogenetic Counseling is a source of pride. Founded in 1995, it has helped more than 4,000 patients to identify their genetic risks for cancer. Having identified BRCA mutations that are specific to women of Persian origin, Hadassah has pioneered the testing of these women who have a history of breast cancer in their family.

"This test can save the lives of many Persian women and their daughters," Prof. Peretz notes, "because it enables a physician to diagnose the cancer at an early stage." Prof. Peretz adds: "Not only are we saving the lives of women today, but we are also affecting the future of their children."

She explains that Hadassah employs a technique called Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) whereby an egg is fertilized through in vitro fertilization and, three days later, the embryo, now consisting of 6-10 cells, is examined to see if it is carrying a breast cancer mutation. If a BRCA mutation is found, that particular embryo is not chosen for implantation, ensuring that the women's children will not carry the mutated gene. Hadassah was the first in the world to use PGD to ensure that a woman who carries the BRCA mutation would not transfer this genetic abnormality to her children.

News & Stories

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Tuesday, Aug 9 2016

Three-Prong Approach to Breast Cancer Research at Hadassah

Understanding what part inherited traits play in an individual’s chance of developing breast cancer; analyzing the specific biology of each tumor to better tailor therapy for each patient; and diagnosing cancer through blood samples, rather than performing biopsies, are the goals that are shaping the approach the Hadassah Medical Organization is taking to cancer research and treatment.

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Thursday, Feb 18 2016

Dr. Tamar Peretz Explains Groundbreaking Research with BRCA1 Gene Mutation

Dr. Tamar Peretz was interviewed by Lifescript TV at the Women's Health Summit for Cancer Schmancer, on the groundbreaking research regarding the BRCA1 gene mutation in the Ashkenazi Jewish Community.

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Tuesday, Jun 20 2017

Drug May Prevent Recurrence of Aggressive Cancer

An international team led by Hadassah Hospital Oncologist Dr. Amir Sonnenblick reveals that giving a drug called metformin to diabetic women with a particularly aggressive form of breast cancer may prevent its recurrence.

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