BRCA2 mutations associated with improved survival for ovarian cancer

Apr 04, 2011

Women with ovarian cancer who have the BRCA2 gene mutation are more likely to survive the malignancy than women with the BRCA1 mutation, or women without either mutation.

In results presented at the AACR 102nd Annual Meeting 2011, held April 2-6, Kelly Bolton, a fellow at the National Cancer Institute, said the findings describe the effect of these mutations in survival.

"There was some previous evidence that women with ovarian cancer who have mutations in the BRCA genes show improved survival compared to non-mutation carriers," said Bolton. "Our study clearly shows that this survival difference is real. We also provide the first solid evidence that BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations don't have the same impact on ovarian cancer survival."

"Previous studies have been somewhat conflicting because of their small size and methodological limitations," she added.

Bolton and colleagues evaluated 3,531 cases of epithelial ovarian cancer, including 1,178 women with BRCA1 mutations, 367 with BRCA2 mutations, and 1,986 with neither mutation. Overall, women with either the BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation had better survival compared to patients who carried the wild-type for both . After adjusting for baseline characteristics, the five-year survival of women without mutations was 36 percent. Survival for BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation carriers was 46 percent and 61 percent, respectively.

Bolton said further study is needed to explain why women with BRCA2 mutations had better survival than BRCA1 carriers, or those without either mutation. She hypothesized the mutations may affect a patient's response to .

Approximately 1 in 400 to 1 in 800 women are born with mutations in either BRCA1 or BRCA2, which are known to predispose carriers to the development of ovarian and . The risks differ between the two mutations. Roughly 5 percent of ovarian cancer patients carry mutations in BRCA1 or BRCA2.

"This information may lead to improvements in clinical management of patients with these mutations," she suggested.

Explore further: Researchers develop web-based app to predict glioma mutations

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Biomarker in aggressive breast cancer identified

11 hours ago

Two Northwestern University scientists have identified a biomarker strongly associated with basal-like breast cancer, a highly aggressive carcinoma that is resistant to many types of chemotherapy. The biomarker, ...

MRI better detects recurrent breast cancer

12 hours ago

(HealthDay)—Single-screening breast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) detects 18.1 additional cancers after negative findings with mammography and ultrasonography (US) per 1,000 women with a history of breast ...

Natural (born) killer cells battle pediatric leukemia

23 hours ago

Researchers at Children's Hospital Los Angeles have shown that a select team of immune-system cells from patients with leukemia can be multiplied in the lab, creating an army of natural killer cells that ...

User comments : 0