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Gene Mutation's Benefit for Ovarian Cancer Patients May Not Last: Study
Date:2/19/2013

similar to previous studies. Our study found the survival advantage at five years for women with stage 3 cancers at 55 percent for BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers combined, versus 39 percent for non-carriers."

The researchers said more studies are needed to investigate how new treatments for BRCA mutation carriers with ovarian cancer will affect their long-term survival.

"We believe there is insufficient evidence to counsel women with ovarian cancer and a BRCA mutation that they should expect their long-term survival to be better than that of non-carriers, or that tailored treatments reflect the differences in survival," the study's authors wrote.

The researchers noted that only one of the 309 women who survived more than 12 years after being diagnosed died within the study time frame. They suggested that a 12-year survival "seems a reasonable surrogate for cure."

An inherited BRCA gene mutation is carried by 13 percent of women with ovarian cancer, according to the release. These women have a lifetime risk of up to 44 percent for developing the disease. In contrast, the risk of ovarian cancer for the general population is just 2 percent.

More information

The U.S. National Cancer Institute provides facts on BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutation.

-- Mary Elizabeth Dallas

SOURCE: Moffitt Cancer Center, news release, February 14, 2013.


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