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Gene expressed in 80% of breast cancer patients

(Washington, DC) - A George Washington University Medical Center team, led by Dr. Patricia Berg, has found that a new gene, BP1, an isoform previously discovered and cloned by Dr. Berg, is expressed in 80% of breast cancer patients in preliminary findings. Dr. Berg, Associate Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and team members report that, "Because of these high numbers and our molecular studies, we believe that this gene may offer a useful new early target for breast cancer detection and therapy, and we must now conduct expedited research." Dr. Berg has been studying the gene for 16 years, and began breast cancer testing in 1999 when she joined the faculty of GWU.

Team members will hold a news conference on Tuesday, April 22, at 11 AM EDT, in Room 227 Ross Hall, GWU Medical Center, 23rd and I Streets, N.W.

The findings will be published in the journal "Breast Cancer Research" concurrent with the news conference at 11 AM EST April 22 and will be available on-line at that time at: http://breast-cancer-research.com/currentissue/browse.asp, prior to printing of the June edition of the Journal. In addition to GWU, the authors of the paper included scientists from Children's National Medical Center, the University of Maryland Medical School, and Howard University College of Medicine.

The GWU/Berg team also stated that "While the research into BP1 may impact all groups with breast cancer in that there was an overall higher expression rate, the research may prove especially helpful to African Americans, who disproportionately expressed the new gene."

Dr. Berg pointed to more than 1.2 million people diagnosed with breast cancer annually, including 205,000 in the U.S., and stated, "We hope that this kind of research can make a real difference in addressing a major disease."

Dr. Allan Goldstein, Chairman of the GWU Medical
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Contact: Bob Weiner
301-283-0821
BioMed Central
22-Apr-2003


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