Dr. Borgen Discusses the Patents on BRCA1 and BRCA2
Patrick Borgen, MD
Published Online: Monday, April 8, 2013
Patrick Borgen, MD, chair, Department of Surgery, director, Maimonides Breast Cancer Center, discusses the patents on BRCA1 and BRCA2.
Of the 20,000 human genes, about 4,000 are protected under patent or intellectual property rights, Borgen says, making BRCA1 and BRCA2 not all that unique. The American Civil Liberties Union has filed lawsuits arguing that these patents infringe upon the rights of researcher, geneticists, and patients.
As a practicing physician, Borgen has done research with BRCA1 and BRCA2 and has never been impeded by Myriad Genetics. In some ways, Borgen feels that physicians are lucky to have a singe reference laboratory to trust.
An updated guideline from ASCO regarding the use of sentinel lymph node (SLN) biopsy in early stage breast cancer supports the use of the procedure over axillary lymph node dissection (ALND) in a larger group of patients than previously recommended.