Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer, and has a strong heritable component, with approximately 15 percent of new cases having family history of breast cancer. Genetic panel testing for patients with a family history of breast cancer has become a popular clinical resource. However, the risk of breast cancer associated with inactivating mutations in the predisposition genes is largely undefined, creating critical limitations in the interpretations of the results from panel testing and subsequent medical management. The Cancer Risk Estimates Related to Susceptibility Genes (CARRIERS) consortium was established to determine the risk of cancers associated with truncating mutations in the known predisposition genes and to extend these studies to the clinical classification of variants of uncertain significance (VUS) in the relevant genes.

CARRIERS involves screening of approximately 30,000 population-based breast cancer cases and 30,000 study matched controls for mutations in 28 established or proposed breast cancer predisposition genes. Population-based risks for breast cancer associated with mutations in each gene will be estimated. In parallel, 10,000 breast cancer cases from moderate and high-risk breast cancer families will be similarly screened for mutations and the penetrance of the mutations in high-risk families will be estimated. Furthermore, VUS identified by mutation screening will be characterized by functional and family-based studies and models for classification of the clinical relevance of VUS in each gene will be developed. These data are expected to lead to improvements in cancer risk assessment and improved management of patients found to carry mutations or VUS in breast cancer predisposition.

Citation Format: Jenna Lilyquist, Peter Kraft, Steven N. Hart, Emily J. Hallberg, Chunling Hu, Raymond Moore, Rohan Gnanaolivu, Susan M. Domchek, Jeffrey N. Weitzel, Katherine L. Nathanson, David E. Goldgar, Fergus J. Couch. The CARRIERS consortium: Establishing refined breast cancer risk estimates in known predisposition genes. [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the 107th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research; 2016 Apr 16-20; New Orleans, LA. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Res 2016;76(14 Suppl):Abstract nr 810.