Some research has suggested that the BRCA gene may help repair damage to cardiac cells. Anthracyclines are potent chemotherapy agents used to treat many breast cancers but have been linked to heart damage. This has led to researchers studying whether women with BRCA mutations are more prone to the heart damaging effects of these agents. Preliminary research has shown mixed results. This study could confirm whether or not a BRCA mutation makes people more sensitive to the heart damaging effects of these drugs. If proven, this could affect choice of chemotherapy for breast cancer in women with mutations.
In 2006 the Institute of Medicine issued a report recommending that all cancer patients receive an individualized survivorship care plan at the completion of treatment with recommendations for monitoring and maintaining their health and wellbeing. These plans vary across health care facilities. Some of the survivorship plans include information about genetic counseling and testing. The question proposed would compare whether patients who receive information about recommendations about genetic services in their survivorship plan have higher rates of genetic testing that those who do not receive this information.
ABOUT's patient-driven research process, known as "GAP360" takes unanswered medical questions submitted by the community and turns them into well-defined research questions that can be answered through ABOUT research. GAP stands for Generate, Assess, Prioritize, Plan, Perform, and Publish — the steps that are involved in this process.