How do BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations cause cancer?

We recently filmed a few short videos about some of the concepts underlying the Mainstreaming Cancer Genetics programme. In the video above, professor Nazneen Rahman explains how mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes lead to cancer.


Video transcript:

Genes carry the instructions for how the body works. Genes are made up of DNA, and the DNA is written in a code of four letters. You can get changes in those letters, and we all have thousands of those changes, but if you get a critical change at a critical point in a gene, it can stop that gene from working properly.

If you have a critical change in the BRCA2 gene or the BRCA1 gene, it stops those genes from their normal functioning of preventing cancer from occurring, and that makes a person much more likely to get cancer.

It’s not all bad news, though, because we can use those changes, which are called mutations, as a way of targeting those cancer cells with new treatments.

We will post more videos in the coming weeks, or you can view the rest of the playlist on YouTube now.