BRCA2 mutations associated with improved survival for ovarian cancer

April 4, 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.

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Encouraging oxygen's assault on iron may offer new way to kill lung cancer cells

November 22, 2017
Blocking the action of a key protein frees oxygen to damage iron-dependent proteins in lung and breast cancer cells, slowing their growth and making them easier to kill. This is the implication of a study led by researchers ...

One-size treatment for blood cancer probably doesn't fit all, researchers say

November 22, 2017
Though African-American men are three times more likely to be diagnosed with a blood cancer called multiple myeloma, most scientific research on the disease has been based on people of European descent, according to a study ...

One in four U.S. seniors with cancer has had it before

November 22, 2017
(HealthDay)—For a quarter of American seniors, a cancer diagnosis signals the return of an old foe, new research shows.

Combination immunotherapy targets cancer resistance

November 22, 2017
Cancer immunotherapy drugs have had notable but limited success because in many cases, tumors develop resistance to treatment. But researchers at Yale and Stanford have identified an experimental antibody that overcomes this ...

Researchers discover specific tumor environment that triggers cells to metastasize

November 21, 2017
A team of bioengineers and bioinformaticians at the University of California San Diego have discovered how the environment surrounding a tumor can trigger metastatic behavior in cancer cells. Specifically, when tumor cells ...

New study points the way to therapy for rare cancer that targets the young

November 21, 2017
After years of rigorous research, a team of scientists has identified the genetic engine that drives a rare form of liver cancer. The findings offer prime targets for drugs to treat the usually lethal disease, fibrolamellar ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.