A study to find the best way of working out a woman's risk of breast cancer if she has a strong family history (FHRisk - additional participants)

Cancer type:

Breast cancer





This study looked at improving the way specialists work out the risk of breast cancer in women who have a family history of the disease. 

It was part of a larger study called FHRisk. The researchers wanted more women to join the study as this helped them to improve the way they worked out the risk.

More about this trial

Having a number of relatives who’ve had breast cancer (or some other cancers) can increase your risk of getting breast cancer. 

A specialist can assess your individual risk, if you have a strong family history of breast cancer. They base this on details of your family history and other factors such as whether or not you have children. And if so, the age you were when you had your first child.

But researchers knew they could improve this assessment of risk by including other information.  In this study, they took a small blood sample to carry out tests on your genes. What they were looking at were single changes in the DNA Open a glossary item. These are called single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs Open a glossary item).

The aim of the study was to work out the best way to predict a woman’s risk of breast cancer.


Summary of results

The study team found that for women with a family history of breast cancer a test called SNP18 added to the models already used to predict their risk of getting breast cancer.  
This study was open between November 2010 and December 2014. 
These results were published in 2016.
About this study
Women who went to the Genesis Prevention Centre in Manchester and had a family history of breast cancer were asked to join this study. 
The team either took a blood sample or used one that was already stored. 
They tested for the BRCA1 Open a glossary item and BRCA 2 Open a glossary item gene change (mutation Open a glossary item). 
They also looked at the single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs Open a glossary item). And grouped the women according to the results of the SNP18 test. The team then added this information to the women’s family history.  
Women who developed breast cancer
Of the 489 women diagnosed with breast cancer, 364 joined the study. Of these 364, 112 women had the BRCA1 and, or the BRCA2 gene change. 
For those without a BRCA gene change the team found that the SNP18 test was an important factor when predicting if these women would develop breast cancer. 
Women who didn’t develop breast cancer
Of the 1,065 women who didn’t have breast cancer, 691 had one or both BRCA gene changes. 
The researchers found that for those women without a BRCA gene change the result of the SPN18 test changed how the team assessed the women’s risk of developing breast cancer.
Women with a BRCA gene change
For women with a BRCA gene change the results suggested that a different process would be needed to make the SPN test useful to predict their risk.  
The team concluded the SNP18 test might be used to improve the assessment of risk for breast cancer in women with an increased family risk and haven’t got or mightn’t have a BRCA gene change. 
They also say that the SNP18 test might change the recommended approach to prevention for many women who go to a family history clinic. 
Where this information comes from
We have based this summary on information from the research team. The information they sent us has been reviewed by independent specialists (peer reviewed Open a glossary item) and published in a medical journal. The figures we quote above were provided by the trial team who did the research. We have not analysed the data ourselves.

Recruitment start:

Recruitment end:

How to join a clinical trial

Please note: In order to join a trial you will need to discuss it with your doctor, unless otherwise specified.

Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Chief Investigator

Professor Gareth Evans

Supported by

National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)
The Genesis Breast Cancer Prevention Appeal
Nightingale Centre and Genesis Prevention Centre
University Hospital of South Manchester NHS Foundation Trust


If you have questions about the trial please contact our cancer information nurses

Freephone 0808 800 4040

Last review date

CRUK internal database number:


Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Last reviewed:

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