Purpose: The Breast Cancer Linkage Consortium and other family-based ascertainments have suggested that male carriers of BRCA mutations are at increased risk of prostate cancer. Several series looking at the frequency of BRCA mutations in unselected patients with prostate cancer have not confirmed this finding. To clarify this issue, we conducted a large case-control study.
Experimental design: Blood specimens from 251 unselected Ashkenazi men with prostate cancer were screened for the presence of one of the three common Ashkenazi founder mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2. The incidence of founder mutations was compared with the incidence of founder mutations in 1472 male Ashkenazi volunteers without prostate cancer using logistic regression analysis after adjusting for age.
Results: Thirteen (5.2%) cases had a deleterious mutation in BRCA1 or BRCA2 compared with 28 (1.9%) controls. After adjusting for age, the presence of a BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation was associated with the development of prostate cancer (odds ratio, 3.41; 95% confidence interval, 1.64-7.06; P = 0.001). When results were stratified by gene, BRCA2 mutation carriers demonstrated an increased risk of prostate cancer (odds ratio, 4.78; 95% confidence interval, 1.87-12.25; P = 0.001), whereas the risk in BRCA1 mutation carriers was not significantly increased.
Conclusions: BRCA2 mutations are more likely to be found in unselected individuals with prostate cancer than age-matched controls. These results support the hypothesis that deleterious mutations in BRCA2 are associated with an increased risk of prostate cancer.