Outcome of triple-negative breast cancer in patients with or without deleterious BRCA mutations

Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2011 Nov;130(1):145-53. doi: 10.1007/s10549-011-1711-z. Epub 2011 Aug 10.


More than 75% of breast cancers that develop in BRCA1 mutation carriers are triple-negative breast cancers (TNBC). The aim of this study was to compare the recurrence-free survival (RFS) and overall survival (OS) in high-risk patients with TNBC with and without deleterious BRCA1/2 mutations. A total of 227 women with TNBC who were referred for genetic counseling and underwent BRCA genetic testing between 1997 and 2010 were included in the study. The relationships between clinical variables and outcomes were evaluated using univariate and multivariate Cox proportional hazard regression models. Of 227 high-risk women with TNBC, 50% (n = 114) tested positive for BRCA1/2 mutations. Age, race, and tumor characteristics did not differ between BRCA non-carriers and carriers. At a median follow-up of 3.4 years, the 5-year RFS rates were 74 and 81% (P = 0.21), and 5-year OS rates were 85 and 93% in BRCA non-carriers and BRCA carriers, respectively (P = 0.11). In a multivariate model, after adjusting for age and disease stage, BRCA carriers tended to have a decreased risk of recurrence (HR = 0.67; 95% CI: 0.38-1.19; P = 0.17) or death (HR = 0.51; 95% CI:0.23-1.17; P = 0.11) compared to non-carriers. Our data indicate a 50% prevalence of deleterious BRCA1/2 mutations in high-risk women diagnosed with TNBC. Overall prognosis of TNBC in BRCA carriers and non-carriers is not significantly different within the first 5 years following an initial diagnosis. Further studies need to evaluate whether different therapies will change the outcome in these subgroups of TNBC.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antineoplastic Agents / administration & dosage
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use
  • Breast Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Breast Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Breast Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Female
  • Genes, BRCA1*
  • Genes, BRCA2*
  • Humans
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Middle Aged
  • Mutation*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult


  • Antineoplastic Agents