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Increased risk of breast cancer in neurofibromatosis type 1: current insights

Authors Howell SJ, Hockenhull K, Salih Z, Evans DG

Received 18 May 2017

Accepted for publication 30 June 2017

Published 21 August 2017 Volume 2017:9 Pages 531—536


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Pranela Rameshwar

Sacha J Howell,1 Kimberley Hockenhull,1 Zena Salih,1 D Gareth Evans2,3

1Department of Medical Oncology, The Christie NHS Foundation Trust, 2Division of Evolution and Genomic Sciences, School of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health, University of Manchester, Manchester Academic Health Science Centre, 3Manchester Centre for Genomic Medicine, Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester, UK

Abstract: Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) is an autosomal dominant condition caused by mutation/deletion of the NF1 gene. The gene product, neurofibromin, is a tumor suppressor which represses the activity of the Ras oncogene. Central nervous system (CNS) tumors have long been associated with NF1, but their association with several other malignancies has been demonstrated. In this review, we summarize the epidemiological data that irrefutably support a link between NF1 and an increased risk of early-onset breast cancer, to levels at which annual mammography is currently recommended in national high-risk screening programs. We discuss the reasons for the observed adverse breast cancer prognosis in NF1 cases, including late presentation and more aggressive tumor subtypes, and recommend that a collaborative breast screening study be initiated to better serve this currently underserved population of women.

Keywords: breast cancer, neurofibromatosis type 1, NF1

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