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New Study Offers Accessible Genetic Testing for BRCA with Expert Medical Guidance

By BCRF | March 16, 2018

BCRF investigators join forces to launch BFOR, an innovative study offering genetic testing for women and men of Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry.

In an effort to provide more accessible breast cancer genetic screening options, BCRF investigators have launched an innovative new study that will offer free genetic testing aimed at finding specific ancestral-related (“founder”) mutations in BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes.

Known as the BRCA Founder Outreach Study (BFOR), researchers are asking those of Ashkenazi Jewish descent to sign up for the free testing using the study’s website.

“BFOR will equip patients, families, and their doctors with better information to make healthcare decisions based on their cancer risks,” said Dr. Kenneth Offit, a BCRF investigator and principal investigator of the BFOR study. “At the same time, it will provide a new model to increase access to genetic testing to optimize and personalize medical and preventive care.”

The study launched in early March initiated by a gift from the Sharon Levine Corzine Foundation with support from BCRF and others. Researchers plan on enrolling 4,000 individuals, recruiting 1,000 participants in each of the four recruiting cities: New York, Boston, Philadelphia and Los Angeles.

Researchers behind the BFOR study are leaders in the cancer genetics field. They include BCRF investigators, Dr. Kenneth Offit of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer, Dr. Judy Garber of the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Dr. Nadine Tung of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Drs. Susan Domchek and Katherine Nathanson of  University of Pennsylvania and Dr. Beth Karlan of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

BFOR is unique in the use of digital health platform coupled to educational and genetic counseling resources for participants and their health care providers. The participant’s primary care physician or a BFOR cancer genetics specialist will provide test results, follow-up genetic counseling and order additional genetic testing if appropriate.

“Because of the simplicity of testing for BRCA founder mutations, it makes sense to pilot this approach in those of Ashkenazi ancestry,” said Dr.  Domchek. “If this model proves successful, it will have implications for testing for a variety of genetic predispositions in the general population.”

To learn more about the BFOR study and to see if you are eligible to participate visit: