BRCA2 Mutations Indicate Better Ovarian Cancer Survival

BRCA2, not BRCA1 mutations increase overall, progression-free survival, chemo response

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 12 (HealthDay News) -- For women with high-grade serous ovarian cancer, BRCA2, but not BRCA1 mutation is associated with significantly better overall survival (OS), progression-free survival (PFS), and chemotherapy response than BRCA wild-type, according to a study published in the Oct. 12 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Da Yang, Ph.D., from the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, and colleagues investigated the association between BRCA1/2 deficiency (mutation and promoter hypermethylation) and OS, PFS, chemotherapy response, and whole-exome mutation rate in ovarian cancer. Multidimensional genomics and clinical data made public between 2009 and 2010 through the Cancer Genome Atlas project were analyzed for 316 women with high-grade serous ovarian cancer. The primary outcomes measured were OS and PFS, and chemotherapy response was the secondary outcome.

The investigators identified significantly better OS and PFS in women with BRCA2 mutations than in BRCA wild-type cases (adjusted hazard ratio, 0.33 and 0.40, respectively). BRCA1 mutations and methylation were not correlated with prognosis. Compared with BRCA wild-type and BRCA1 mutated cases, cases with BRCA2 mutations had a significantly greater primary chemotherapy sensitivity rate and longer platinum-free duration. A mutator phenotype, containing significantly more mutations across the whole exome than BRCA wild type cases, was seen in BRCA2 mutated but not BRCA1 mutated cases.

"BRCA1 and BRCA2 deficiencies are associated with differential effects on patient survival and chemotherapy response in ovarian cancer," the authors write.

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