A small proportion of breast cancer, in particular those cases arising at a young age, is due to the inheritance of dominant susceptibility genes conferring a high risk of the disease. A genomic linkage search was performed with 15 high-risk breast cancer families that were unlinked to the BRCA1 locus on chromosome 17q21. This analysis localized a second breast cancer susceptibility locus, BRCA2, to a 6-centimorgan interval on chromosome 13q12-13. Preliminary evidence suggests that BRCA2 confers a high risk of breast cancer but, unlike BRCA1, does not confer a substantially elevated risk of ovarian cancer.
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