Chemosensitivity and outcome of BRCA1- and BRCA2-associated ovarian cancer patients after first-line chemotherapy compared with sporadic ovarian cancer patients

Ann Oncol. 2011 Jun;22(6):1346-1352. doi: 10.1093/annonc/mdq628. Epub 2011 Jan 12.


Background: Because it is insufficiently clear whether BRCA-associated epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) is more chemosensitive than sporadic EOC, we examined response to chemotherapy, progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) in BRCA1- and BRCA2-associated versus sporadic EOC patients.

Methods: Data about patient characteristics, response to and outcome after primary therapy, including chemotherapy, were collected from 99 BRCA1, 13 BRCA2 and 222 sporadic patients. Analyses were carried out using a chi-square test and Kaplan-Meier and Cox regression methods.

Results: Complete response (CR) or no evidence of disease (NED) was observed in 87% of the BRCA1 patients, progressive disease (PD) in 2%, being 71% and 15%, respectively, in sporadic EOC patients (P = 0.002). In BRCA2 patients, 92% had CR/NED, and none PD (P = 0.27). Median PFS in BRCA1, BRCA2 and sporadic patients was 2.1 [95% confidence interval (CI) 1.9-2.5] years (P = 0.006), 5.6 (95% CI 0.0-11.5) years (P = 0.008) and 1.3 (95% CI 1.1-1.5) years, respectively. Median OS in the three groups was 5.9 (95% CI 4.7-7.0) years (P < 0.001), >10 years (P = 0.008), and 2.9 (95% CI 2.2-3.5) years, respectively. A trend for a longer PFS and OS in BRCA2 compared with BRCA1 patients was observed.

Conclusion: Compared with sporadic EOC patients, both BRCA1- and BRCA2-associated patients have improved outcomes after primary therapy, including chemotherapy.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use
  • BRCA1 Protein / genetics*
  • BRCA2 Protein / genetics*
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / genetics
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • BRCA1 Protein
  • BRCA1 protein, human
  • BRCA2 Protein
  • BRCA2 protein, human