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TRACEBACK is a ground-breaking study coordinated by Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in collaboration with Ovarian Cancer Australia, the Australian Ovarian Cancer Study (AOCS), Ovarian Cancer Prognosis and Lifestyle study (OPAL), the Australian Cancer Study (ACS) and major hospitals and research sites across the country.

TRACEBACK aims to reduce the number of new ovarian and breast cancers diagnosed in Australia by identifying families that may have a hereditary risk of cancer development because of inherited gene changes (mutations) in BRCA1, BRCA2 and other cancer risk genes.

Download the TRACEBACK brochure for more information

Genes of Interest

Mutations in BRCA1BRCA2 and other genes that are involved in important DNA repair pathways in our cells, increase the lifetime risk of not only ovarian cancer but also several other cancers. The mutations are also linked to the occurrence of breast, prostate, colorectal and pancreatic cancers and are passed down through the family line by both male and female carriers.

BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations in particular are more common in ovarian cancer than any other cancer type. Therefore, women with ovarian cancer provide an important opportunity to identify carriers of these mutations.

Identifying a previously undetected mutation in one of these genes in a woman with ovarian cancer, allows more families to become aware of their heightened risk while also providing current and future generations the opportunity to adopt strategies to reduce their cancer risk.


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Are you eligible?

To participate in TRACEBACK, you will need to meet the following criteria:

  • You have had a diagnosis of ovarian cancer, and have not previously been referred for/received genetic testing, or
  • You are a family member of a woman who has previously been diagnosed with ovarian cancer and was not offered genetic testing before passing away.

If you have a personal history of ovarian cancer, and have not been referred for genetic testing, the TRACEBACK team will work with you and your cancer specialists to ensure that these tests are made available to you.

If you are a family member of a woman who has previously been diagnosed with ovarian cancer, but is no longer alive to receive genetic testing, the TRACEBACK team will work with you to access archival tissue samples for testing in our laboratory.

The return of genetic testing information will be supported by TRACEBACK genetic counsellors, and national Familial Cancer Centres, and encourage wider genetic testing amongst family members if indeed an inherited change is identified.

TRACEBACK is an Australian Government funded initiative – a collaboration between Ovarian Cancer Australia (OCA), the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre (Peter Mac), other major hospitals and research sites across the country.

*Genetic testing carried out as part of this project is confidential and associated with no out of pocket cost.


If you are interested in participating, please contact Ovarian Cancer Australia on 1800 955 011.



Traceback: Associate Professor Paul James on genetic testing

In this video, Associate Professor Paul James talks about how genetic testing can improve the lives of your loved ones and society as a whole.
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Traceback: Doctor Rachel Delahunty on the Traceback Project

In this video, Doctor Rachel Delahunty explains what Traceback is, who it is for, and how testing is carried out.
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Traceback: Professor David Bowtell on the goal of the Traceback project

In this video, Professor David Bowtell explains how Traceback aims to prevent the development of breasts and ovarian cancer before they occur.
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