A total of 283 epithelial ovarian cancer families from the United Kingdom (UK) and the United States (US) were screened for coding sequence changes and large genomic alterations (rearrangements and deletions) in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. Deleterious BRCA1 mutations were identified in 104 families (37%) and BRCA2 mutations in 25 families (9%). Of the 104 BRCA1 mutations, 12 were large genomic alterations; thus this type of change represented 12% of all BRCA1 mutations. Six families carried a previously described exon 13 duplication, known to be a UK founder mutation. The remaining six BRCA1 genomic alterations were previously unreported and comprised five deletions and an amplification of exon 15. One of the 25 BRCA2 mutations identified was a large genomic deletion of exons 19-20. The prevalence of BRCA1/2 mutations correlated with the extent of ovarian and breast cancer in families. Of 37 families containing more than two ovarian cancer cases and at least one breast cancer case with diagnosis at less than 60 years of age, 30 (81%) had a BRCA1/2 mutation. The mutation prevalence was appreciably less in families without breast cancer; mutations were found in only 38 out of 141 families (27%) containing two ovarian cancer cases only, and in 37 out of 59 families (63%) containing three or more ovarian cancer cases. These data indicate that BRCA1 and BRCA2 are the major susceptibility genes for ovarian cancer but that other susceptibility genes may exist. Finally, it is likely that these data will be of clinical importance for individuals in families with a history of epithelial ovarian cancer, in providing accurate estimates of their disease risks.
(c) 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.