Objective: familial ovarian cancer patients have been found to differ from sporadic cases, clinically as well as in the molecular make-up of the tumour. Here, a case control study is performed to analyse potential differences in survival.
Study design: 31 families with a strong history of ovarian and/or breast cancer presenting to a family cancer clinic 44 ovarian cancer patients were included. Each patient was matched for age and stage with controls from a cancer registry. Survival rates and the effect of several prognostic factors were analysed.
Results: median survival in the study group differed significantly from controls. A survival benefit for familial cases was maintained up to 5 years after diagnosis. Long-term survival was equally poor in both groups.
Conclusion: the difference in survival between familial ovarian cancer cases and matched controls may reflect differences in biological behaviour. This may have important implications for the management and prevention of familial ovarian cancer.