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Model co-created by UCLA Health’s Dr. Beth Karlan provides platform for scientists to study factors that lead to cancer development in BRCA1 mutation carriers

UCLA Health Connect blog

Post Date:December 28, 2021 10:00 AM
Dr. Beth Karlan, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology in the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA

The lifetime risk of developing ovarian cancer is less than 2% for the general female population, but for women who carry a mutation in the BRCA1 gene, estimated risk is between 35% and 70%.

Beth Karlan, MD, a specialist in gynecologic oncology and the director of Cancer Population Genetics at UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, co-led a study in which cancer researchers and stem cell scientists used cells from ovarian cancer patients who had a BRCA1 mutation to create tissues, called organoids, modeling tissues of fallopian tubes.

“From peripheral white blood cells that were immortalized – manipulated to proliferate indefinitely – we made induced pluripotent stem cells,” Dr. Karlan said. “We then created conditions for those cells to differentiate into organoids that recapitulate the serous fallopian tube cells that are the origin of ovarian cancer.”

Click here to read the UCLA Health Connect blog.

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