Albano, Sy-Ortin lead team of NAST-awarded paper on breast cancer risk

The research team of Professor Pia Marie S.P. Albano, PhD, Prof. Teresa Sy-Ortin, MD, and Drs. Gabriel Phillip Ragudo, Beatriz Soneth Pureza, Denise Anne Rimando, Mikael Remus Manrique, and Kin Israel Notarte authored an award-winning research paper in the recent conference of the National Academy of Science and Technology, which conferred the “Outstanding Scientific Paper Award” upon the group, in a May 31, 2021 letter to the team.

The study, entitled “RAD51 135G>C Single Nucleotide Polymorphism and Risk of Breast Cancer in Selected Filipino Cases,” focuses on the RAD51 gene, which “encodes the protein that plays a central role in the repair of DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) through the homologous recombination pathway. Association of RAD51 single nucleotide genetic polymorphism (SNP) with the development of cancer has been observed to be tumor site- and race-specific.” As such, the “study aimed to determine the potential association between RAD51 135G>C SNP and breast cancer among selected Filipinos.”

A total of 60 patients with histologically confirmed breast cancer “were age- and sex-matched with clinically healthy controls (n = 60). Genomic DNA was extracted from the blood of participants and analyzed for RAD51 genotype by polymerase chain reaction – restriction enzyme fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP).”

According to the findings, “a significantly higher incidence of RAD51 C/C genotype was seen among the cases than the controls (p < 0.05). The more common G/C genotype was not associated with breast cancer development, while the recessive less common C/C genotype was observed to potentially increase the risk.”

Another finding was that “passive smokers carrying the RAD51 G/C genotype had a significantly increased chance of developing breast cancer. RAD51 G/C genotype – even when combined with other established risk factors like alcohol use, active smoking, and family history – were not associated with breast cancer.”

Albano teaches at the Department of Biological Sciences, while Sy-Ortin is from the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery and the Benavides Cancer Institute. Ragudo, Pureza, Rimando, and Manrique are also from the Department of Biological Sciences, while Notarte is from the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery.

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