Ellen T. Matloff on Prophylactic Treatment for BRCA Carriers

March 17, 2014
Ellen T. Matloff, MS, CGC
Ellen T. Matloff, MS, CGC

Ellen T. Matloff, MS, CGC is a certified genetic counselor and the president and CEO of My Gene Counsel, a company that provides updating, scalable digital genetic counseling for consumers and clinicians. Matloff founded the Yale Cancer Genetic Counseling program, served as its director and a faculty member at Yale School of Medicine for 18 years, and was a lead plaintiff in the SCOTUS BRCA gene patent case of 2013. She works closely with patient advocates in the areas of genetic counseling and testing, and direct-to-consumer (DTC) genetic testing, and is an expert in return of genetic test results and interpretation of genetic testing. Matloff serves as the Forbes.com contributor on genetic counseling, genetic testing, and digital health.

Ellen T. Matloff, MS, CGC, director, Yale Cancer Genetic Counseling Program at the Yale School of Medicine/Yale Cancer Center, discusses prophylactic treatment options outside of oophorectomy for BRCA1/2 carriers.

Ellen T. Matloff, MS, CGC, director, Yale Cancer Genetic Counseling Program at the Yale School of Medicine/Yale Cancer Center, discusses prophylactic treatment options outside of oophorectomy for BRCA1/2 carriers.

In BRCA1/2 carriers and the general population, the use of birth control pills greatly reduces the risk of ovarian cancer, though there are some contraindications, Matloff says.

Research on the horizon has suggested that many ovarian cancers actually start in the fallopian tubes. There is no definitive data to support this claim, Matloff says, and research is being done to determine whether removing the fallopian tubes can reduce the risk of ovarian cancer.

Matloff hypothesizes that it may be beneficial to remove fallopian tubes by age 30 and remove ovaries later on, as a salvage procedure, in BRCA carriers.