Center for Human Reproduction Receives Patent for Detection/Prevention/Treatment of Breast and/or Ovarian Cancer, Related to the FMR1 Gene

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A New York infertility treatment and research center earns a patent for a unique method of reducing the risk and spread of breast and ovarian cancer in women.

Center for Human Reproduction
Sometimes research can open unexpected doors. While our center’s focus has been on the FMR1 gene’s fertility effects, surprising findings led to this possible breakthrough in cancer diagnosis, biology and therapy.

The Center for Human Reproduction (CHR), a leading fertility research and treatment center in New York City, has been awarded a U.S. patent by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office regarding use of FMR1 gene inhibitors as a method of reducing the risk of and/or spread of breast or ovarian cancers.

The patent outlines a method of breast and ovarian cancer prevention that stems from correlations observed at CHR between certain mutations of breast and ovarian cancer susceptibility genes (BRCA1/2) and “low” FMR1 alleles, first published in a study in 2012 in the prestigious medical journal PLoS ONE1. The study suggested that this discovery could lead to less expensive cancer screening and potential preventive and/or therapeutic intervention via introduction of an FMR1 inhibitor.

“Essentially, one can use various methods of affecting gene functions to overexpress or down-regulate transcription of the gene,” explains Norbert Gleicher, MD, Medical Director and Chief Scientist at CHR, who is one of the inventors listed on the patent. He continues: “Sometimes research can open unexpected doors. While our center’s focus has been on the FMR1 gene’s fertility effects, surprising findings led to this possible breakthrough in cancer diagnosis, biology and therapy. You never know where research will lead you, and that is one aspect that drives us here at CHR,” says Dr. Gleicher.

CHR has licensed the rights to this patent to LifeCycle Laboratories LLC, a company developing innovative medical solutions for critical women’s health care issues.

1Weghofer A, Tea M-K, Barad DH, Kim A, Singer CF, et al. (2012) BRCA1/2 Mutations Appear Embryo-Lethal Unless Rescued by Low (CGG n<26) FMR1 Sub-Genotypes: Explanation for the “BRCA Paradox”? PLoS ONE 7(9): e44753

About the Center for Human Reproduction (CHR)
The Center for Human Reproduction (CHR - http://www.centerforhumanreprod.com/), located in New York City, is one of the world’s leading clinical and research centers in reproductive medicine and infertility. Dr. Gleicher is available for further comments.

About LifeCycle Laboratories (LCL)
LifeCycle Laboratories is developing proprietary diagnostic products based on unique discoveries of the fragile X (FMR1) gene to assist women in determining their reproductive capability as well as determine IVF success rate. Visit http://www.lifecyclelaboratories.com/ for more information.

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Communications Manager
Center for Human Reproduction
since: 02/2009
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