Objective: Our purpose was to get an overview of the genetic events leading to the development of familial and sporadic ovarian tumors and to identify chromosomal regions that may contain genes important in tumor progression.
Methods: The comparative genomic hybridization (CGH) technique was employed in a total of 46 epithelial ovarian or peritoneal tumors: 27 sporadic tumors, 11 tumors disected from BRCA1 mutation (185delAG) carriers, and eight from BRCA2 mutation (6174delT) carriers (familial tumors).
Results: The average number of genetic alterations (deletions and amplifications) was significantly (alpha=0.0069) higher in familial tumors (9.17 +/- 4.25 alterations per tumor in the BRCA1 mutation carriers and 7.25 +/- 6.06 in the BRCA2 mutation carriers) compared to the sporadic group (4.26 +/- 3.61 alterations per tumor). The pattern of the chromosome amplifications resembled in the three groups and the most common amplifications detected were at chromosomes 8q, 3q, and 2q. The pattern of the chromosomal deletions varied between the groups. Among the BRCA1 group, the most common deletions were in chromosomes 9 and 19. The BRCA2 group showed a lower frequency of deletions. Deletion of chromosome 16 and 22 were the most frequent ones. No specific chromosomal deletion was significantly indicated in the sporadic group.
Conclusions: Familial ovarian tumors exhibit a significantly higher number of chromosomal aberrations and genomic imbalances and nonrandom genetic changes were characterized in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 groups.