BRCA1 is more interesting than many cancer genes for reasons almost completely unrelated to its function. After its discovery, Myriad Genetics successfully applied for a patent on the gene covering its usage in diagnostic and theraputic roles. Want to build a BRCA1 construct to examine the pathway? Tough, you'll need to license it. Screening for people who are potentially susceptible to developing breast or ovarian cancer? Myriad will be taking a cut. As a result, BRCA1 is a poster child for those who oppose patenting of genetic material, with the primary argument being that the patents prevent research that may save lives and costs for health services are higher than would otherwise be necessary.