Genetic Risk Variation


The primary method for discovering variations in the genetic code that increase risk for ovarian cancer is called a “case control study”, also known as a “genome-wide association study” or GWAS. These are very large studies involving research groups and clinical researchers all over the world. The BFG is deeply involved in two such consortia related to ovarian cancer: the Ovarian Cancer Association Consortium (OCAC, link) and the Ovarian Tumor Tissue Analysis consortium (OTTA). Studies of genetic risk seek to define sources of variation (often called SNPs) that are correlated with ovarian cancer, and to construct models of risk that will allow us to predict a person’s chance of getting cancer from a genetic test. Another area of interest touches on gene-environment interaction (an example of this for ovarian cancer would be genetic predisposition modified by the use of talcum powder). Our groups are not currently active in this area.