Purpose: To evaluate the prevalence of BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations and associations with clinical correlates of disease in a population-based series of ovarian cancer cases from Denmark.
Methods: DNA sequencing and multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification analysis were used to analyze the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes for coding sequence mutations and large genomic rearrangements in 445 confirmed cases of ovarian cancer. We evaluated associations between mutation status and clinical characteristics, including cancer risks for first-degree relatives and clinicopathologic features of tumors.
Results: Deleterious BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations were identified in 26 cases; thus, mutations in these genes are responsible for at least 5.8% of ovarian cancer cases in this population. Five different mutations were identified in more than one individual, suggesting that they may be founder mutations in Denmark. We identified several differences between mutation carriers and noncarriers: mutation carriers were diagnosed at a significantly early age (median, 49 and 61 years, respectively; P = 0.0001); the frequency of BRCA1 mutation carriers was 23% for women diagnosed <40 years, 15% for 40 to 49 years, 4% for 50 to 59 years, and 2% for > or =60 years (P = 0.00002); ovarian cancer in carriers was diagnosed at a later stage (P = 0.002) and tumors were of poorer grade (P = 0.0001); and first-degree relatives of mutation carriers had greater relative risks of both ovarian cancer [10.6 (95% confidence interval, 4.2-26.6); P < 0.0001] and breast cancer <60 years [8.7 (95% confidence interval, 3.0-25.0); P < 0.0001].
Conclusion: These data may have a significant effect on risk assessment and clinical management of individuals from Denmark who are predisposed to ovarian cancer because they carry a BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation.