Read this month's edition of the BRCAbeat, the Basser Center newsletter.
Read this month's edition of the BRCAbeat, the Basser Center newsletter.
April 2020

A Note from our Executive Director

I hope you all are safe and well. There is no denying that these past few months have presented the entire world with an unprecedented challenge. It is my hope that the Basser Center will continue to be a source of knowledge and community for you.
Below you will find some important updates on the work of the Basser Center. In addition, I am also including a recording from a recent symposium held by Penn Medicine’s new Center for Research on Coronavirus and Other Emerging Pathogens to provide helpful information about this pandemic, and how the Penn and Philadelphia communities are responding.
Throughout this crisis, it has been truly inspiring to witness the resourcefulness and resolve of healthcare workers as they rise to the challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic. Each day, healthcare heroes at Penn Medicine and across the world work tirelessly to confront this pervasive disease and to save lives. All of us at the Basser Center offer our profound gratitude for the incredible courage, commitment and compassion shown by so many.
This is a defining moment in our history. I know we will get through this together.
Be safe and take care, 
Susan Domchek, MD

Penn Medicine's COVID-19 Symposium

Cancer and COVID-19

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, we want to assure you that here at the Basser Center and Penn Medicine, we are providing care in the safest setting for all of our patients – whether you are new, on treatment or in follow-up care. Learn more about cancer treatment and COVID-19 guidelines. 
The Basser Center understands that for BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers and others at high risk of cancer, COVID-19 may have disrupted screening schedules and surgical plans. While each situation is unique, we offer the following general considerations for "previvors" during COVID-19.

Genetics and Generosity Connect Two Families

The Pearl Basser Professorship, etstablished by Shari and Len Potter, cements a connection to drive change—and provide hope—for families affected by BRCA-related cancers.
Basser Center Director of Genetics, Dr. Katherine L. Nathanson (second from right), has been named the inaugural chairholder.

Basser Center Research Round Up

Structural Basis for Allosteric PARP-1 Retention on DNA Breaks
Ben Black, PhD, a professor at Penn Medicine and Basser funded scientist,  contributed to a paper recently published in Science exploring the mechanisms of PARP binding, which looks to explain the difference in efficiency of the various PARP inhibitor cancer treatments.

Cancer Risks Associated With Germline PALB2 Pathogenic Variants: An International Study of 524 Families
Basser Executive Director Susan Domchek, MD, and Basser Director of Genetics Katherine L. Nathanson, MD, were involved in this study to examine the risk of various cancers associated with the PALB2 genetic mutation.
Positron Emission Tomography Imaging of Poly–(Adenosine Diphosphate–Ribose) Polymerase 1 Expression in Breast Cancer
Basser-funded scientists, including Austin Pantel, MD, and Kara Maxell, MD, PhD, were among the authors of this study examining PARP inhibitor drug efficacy in the treatment of BRCA-related breast cancer.
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