Inherited predisposition to breast and ovarian cancer in non-Jewish populations in Israel

Jamal Zidan, Alicia Y. Zhou, Jeroen van den Akker, Yael Laitman, Hagit Schayek, Julia Schnaider, Eitan Friedman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: The contribution of genetic factors to cancer in non-Jewish populations in Israel is understudied. Yet the early, mostly premenopausal age at breast cancer diagnosis is suggestive of an inherited predisposition. Methods: High-risk cancer cases of non-Jewish origin who were counseled at the Oncogenetics unit, Sheba Medical Center and the oncology institute at the Ziv medical center from January 1, 2000 to December 31 2016 were eligible. DNA extracted from leukocytes was subjected to massive parallel, next-generation sequencing using the Color Genomics platform. Data were analyzed for pathogenic and likely pathogenic mutations using existing pipelines. Results: Overall, 68 cases, each representing a unique high-risk breast/ovarian family, were genotyped: 32 Druze, 26 Muslim Arabs, and 10 Christian Arabs. Fifty-nine had breast cancer (mean age at diagnosis 42.7 ± 7.6 years), and 9 had ovarian cancer (51.6 ± 9.7 years). Overall three pathogenic mutations one each in BRCA1, PALB2, and BRIP1 genes were detected mostly in Druze families. In addition, 29 variants of unknown significance were also detected, and in 36 cases no sequence variants were noted in any of the genotyped genes. Conclusion: The contribution of the known cancer susceptibility genes to the burden of inherited breast/ovarian cancer predisposition in non-Jews in Israel is modest. Other genes or molecular mechanisms account for the familial breast/ovarian cancer clustering in this population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)881-885
Number of pages5
JournalBreast Cancer Research and Treatment
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2017


  • Cancer panel testing
  • Cancer susceptibility genes
  • Consanguineous marriage
  • Inherited cancer
  • Isolated populations
  • Non-Jewish Israeli populations


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