Background: The heritable fraction of ovarian cancer exceeds that of any other common adult cancer. Most inherited cases of ovarian cancer are due to a germline mutation in BRCA1 or BRCA2. It is important to have an accurate estimate of the proportion of ovarian cancer patients who carry a mutation and the specific factors which predict the presence of a mutation.
Methods: We tested a population-based series of 1342 unselected patients diagnosed with invasive ovarian cancer between 1995-1999 and 2002-2004 in Ontario, Canada, for germline mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2. The two genes were tested in their entirety, using a range of techniques, including multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA).
Results: Among the 1342 women, 176 women carried a mutation (107 in BRCA1, 67 in BRCA2, and two in both genes) for a combined mutation frequency of 13.3%. Seven deletions were identified using MLPA (3.9% of all detected mutations). The prevalence of mutations was particularly high among women diagnosed in their forties (24.0%), in women with serous ovarian cancer (18.0%) and women of Italian (43.5%), Jewish (30.0%) or Indo-Pakistani origin (29.4%). A mutation was seen in 33.9% of women with a first-degree relative with breast or ovarian cancer and in 7.9% of women with no first-degree relative with breast or ovarian cancer. No mutation was seen in women with mucinous carcinoma.
Conclusions: BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations are common in women with invasive ovarian cancer. All women diagnosed with invasive non-mucinous ovarian cancer should be considered to be candidates for genetic testing.
Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.