Prognostic impact of BRCA1 pathogenic and BRCA1/BRCA2 unclassified variant mutations in patients with ovarian carcinoma

Cancer. 2005 Sep 1;104(5):1004-12. doi: 10.1002/cncr.21276.


Background: The clinical relevance of BRCA1/2 alterations in ovarian carcinoma patients is debatable. Our aim was to determine factors influencing the risk of recurrence and death in ovarian carcinoma patients with BRCA pathogenic and unclassified variant mutations.

Methods: A consecutive series of 205 women with primary ovarian carcinoma were screened for mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes using a conformational sensitive gel electrophoresis and direct sequencing. Data regarding medical and familial history were collected using questionnaires. Clinical and pathologic data were extracted from medical records.

Results: Unclassified variant mutations in BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes were found in 16 (8%) patients, and BRCA1 pathogenic mutations were found in 18 (9%) patients. No pathogenic mutation was found in BRCA2 gene. Multivariate analysis showed that BRCA1 pathogenic mutation was an independent predictor of reduced risk of relapse and death (Hazard ratios [HR] 0.52 [confidence interval {CI} 0.28-0.98] and 0.38 [CI 0.10-0.96], respectively). Unclassified variant mutation did not affect recurrence and survival (HR 0.84 [CI 0.43-1.66] and 0.94 [CI 0.48-1.82], respectively). Other factors associated with reduced risk of relapse and death were complete pathologic remission at second-look laparotomy and family history of breast and ovarian carcinoma, respectively. Recurrence and death outcomes among unclassified variant mutation carriers did not differ significantly from those in sporadic cases.

Conclusions: Patients with BRCA1 pathogenic mutation seem to have reduced risk of recurrence and death. These results should be interpreted with caution as they may be influenced by more intensive treatment, better response to cisplatin, and younger age of mutation carriers. Clinical relevance of BRCA1/2 unclassified variant mutations warrants further studies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Genes, BRCA1*
  • Genes, BRCA2*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Mutation*
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / genetics
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / mortality
  • Prognosis