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Benefit of cancer prevention surgery differs between women with BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations
Date:2/11/2008

The surgical removal of the ovaries has been widely adopted as a cancer-risk-reducing strategy for women with either BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations. A new multicenter study led by researchers at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) is the first prospective examination of the impact of this procedure in which BRCA2 mutation carriers were analyzed separately from BRCA1 mutation carriers. All previous studies evaluating this approach have only examined BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers together or have limited their analysis to BRCA1 mutation carriers alone.

The findings of the new study, to be published in the March 2008 issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology, may have important implications for women comparing the risks and benefits of specific cancer-risk-reduction options.

According to the research, the surgery called risk-reducing salpingo-oophorectomy (RRSO) may confer different benefits for women at inherited risk for breast and ovarian cancer depending upon whether BRCA1 or BRCA2 is abnormal. The efficacy of this procedure for the prevention of breast and gynecologic cancer had never been evaluated in groups of women stratified according to mutation type, despite 17 percent to 39 percent of all BRCA mutation carriers having a mutation in the BRCA2 gene.

These findings will allow doctors to better tailor risk-reduction approaches for women at inherited risk for breast and ovarian cancer, said the studys lead author, Noah Kauff, MD, a gynecologist and geneticist at MSKCC. Given these results, further studies evaluating the efficacy of risk-reduction strategies in BRCA mutation carriers will likely need to stratify by the specific gene mutated, he added.

Researchers compared the incidence of breast and gynecologic cancers between a group of 509 women 30 years of age or older who carried a BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation and had undergone RRSO, and a group of 283 women with these mutations who did not have the surgery. The women were followed
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Contact: Esther Napolitano
napolite@mskcc.org
212-639-3573
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
Source:Eurekalert

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